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NBRI is now recruiting participants for the CAMPUS Study

We are seeking participants to complete a brief (10 minute) online survey on the topic of Complementary and Alternative Medicines (CAMs). We want to explore cancer patients and survivors’ reasons for using CAMs and what their experiences with them have been. Our goal is to gain a greater understanding of CAMs consumers’ attitudes and motivations, as well as their demographic information.

For more information about this study and eligibility requirements, please visit our Projects page.


Maree Brinkman invited to speak at “Careers in Nutrition” online seminar

Dr Maree Brinkman was very honoured recently to be invited as a guest speaker for an online seminar on “Careers in Nutrition” for some Melbourne University Medical students who belong to the Healthy Eating Nutrition Society.  Maree said it was very encouraging to see such great interest in nutrition among these upcoming young academics, doctors and researchers, and to hear the experiences and advice provided by the other guest speakers who hailed from a range of such diverse careers in Nutrition, such as policy/public health, epidemiology and sports nutrition.


Vale Wens Brinkman

It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that we inform everyone of the recent passing of Wens Brinkman, who was one of the founding board members of NBRI.

Wens ended his long 10-year battle with colorectal cancer on the 4th April 2020, passing away peacefully at home surrounded by the love of his immediate family.

Wens was a passionate advocate for long term survivorship of cancer, working hard to still enjoy a rich and fulfilling life working in a job he loved and spending quality time with his family and friends, even while enduring ongoing treatment across most of the past decade with his persistent disease. We will miss Wens’ drive and his enthusiasm to share his thoughts and experiences with the team at NBRI, and we will continue to work hard to make his vision a reality.

We look forward to continuing our work to improve the duration and quality of life of people with cancer and to continue Wens’ legacy. 


Welcome to our new board members!

The team at NBRI would like to extend our warmest welcome to our two new board members; Graham Chambers and Edward McDermott. Together, Graham and Edward founded their firm, DCM lawyers, with a focus to provide clients with clear advice and a personalised, uncomplicated approach to problem solving. Their expertise and unique perspectives will undoubtedly provide a highly valuable addition to our work.


A great year for students and staff at NBRI 

It has been a great year for mentoring and working with the next generation of health professionals and scientists at NBRI and Nutrition Biomed!

Hayden and Sam, two of our young researchers, have both this year completed their university studies and are looking forward to commencing work in the new year. Hayden will be working as a doctor at Western Health, while Sam has graduated with a Masters of Public Health and Graduate Diploma in Biostatics with work lined up in this field. We’re very proud of what our staff have been able to achieve!

Meanwhile, another dynamic young dietitian, Laura Boldiston, recently complete her 12 month mentorship program with Dr Maree Brinkman to become a fully accredited practising dietitian. Congratulations Laura and we will be following your career with great interest!

Rahaf Bojeh also completed a 100 hour placement this year at Nutrition Biomed under Dr Maree Brinkman’s supervision as a requirement for her Bachelor of Food and Nutrition Sciences. We are delighted to learn that Rahaf has been accepted into the Master’s of Nutrition and Dietetics Program at Deakin University in 2020. Well done Rahaf, it’s great to see another passionate young dietitian in training!


Congratulations Aaron!

NBRI is pleased to announce that Aaron Roman, who has recently completed his 12 month mentoring program with Dr Maree Brinkman to become an accredited practising dietitian, has co-authored a research publication on the I.CAN program, which uses health coaching to provide tailored nutrition and physical activity guidance to people diagnosed with cancer in a rural region in eastern Victoria. Congratulations Aaron!…/10.1007%2Fs11764-019-00818-1


Student Partnerships at NBRI

As well as being involved in high quality, high impact research, NBRI takes an active interest in educating the next generation of health practitioners and medical researchers.

Dr Brinkman is currently supervising two Nutrition Sciences students, Rahaf from Deakin University, and Melanie from Monash University. During their time here, they have been able to enjoy clinical exposure, observe Dr Brinkman’s engaging and thought provoking presentations, develop essential resources for patients and be involved in analysis and output of scientific literature.

A multidimensional, multidisciplinary and engaged team is key to the success of NBRI, and so we always welcome placements from interested students. If you or someone you know may be interested in a Student Partnership with NBRI, please get at for more information.


Congratulations Hayden! 

We would like to extend our warmest congratulations to one of our long-term team members Hayden, who has just had his abstract, “Metabolically Healthy Obese individuals have greater insulin sensitivity and a lower risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease than Metabolically Abnormal Obese counterparts” shortlisted for a Young Investigator Award at the upcoming Australian Gastroenterology Week conference in Adelaide! We wish him all the best for his presentation.


An update on the Vitamin D Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Our busy team of researchers have recently completed the initial phase of data collection, and have been able to begin preliminary analysis of the data. We have uncovered some very exciting results indicating a survival benefit to vitamin D supplementation in cancer patients – stay tuned for final results!


Congratulations to our team members! 

A couple of young dynamic NBRI team members have been busy presenting their work in Europe recently. Evan Yu recently presented his abstract on “Applying Machine Learning Technique to Identify Key Food Groups Related to Bladder Cancer” at the Dutch Epidemiology Conference (WEON) and Iris Boot presented the work that she did here at NBRI on B group vitamins and Bladder Cancer risk at Maastricht University in the last week. We look forward to seeing this work being converted to scientific publications.


Like us on Facebook!

We’ve recently established a Facebook page, in order to keep in touch with and to update our colleagues and supporters with exciting developments at NBRI as they arise. Please like us here to keep in touch with us.


New publication 

Our own Dr Brinkman is a co-author on a new paper from the BLEND collaborative study, entitled “Intake of milk and other dairy products and the risk of bladder cancer: a pooled analysis of 13 cohort studies” which has just been published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. You can read the abstract here.


Blogs now live!

We have just published our first blog post on the NBRI website. Hayden has written a post, titled “Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicines (CAM) in the community”. You can read it here.

Startlingly high numbers of patients are turning to these alternative sources of medical treatment and information, and often don’t inform their conventional medical practitioners of these treatments. This trend has sparked the interest of our research team here at NBRI, and we are currently in the process of gaining ethics approval for a new pilot study exploring the use and perception of CAM therapies among cancer patients.

Stay tuned for further updates regarding this exciting new study!


Welcome Natasha

NBRI would like to extend a warm welcome to Natasha, a final year Master of Dietetics student. Natasha will be joining us for a placement during which she will complement her clinical knowledge by developing much-needed resources for those suffering food chemical intolerance. We expect this will complement our recent research in collaboration with Maastricht university

Goodbye and good luck Iris! 

We’re sad to bid farewell to Iris who was a very welcome addition to the team at NBRI during her stay in Melbourne. She has recently returned to the Netherlands, but we are excited to continue our relationship as she continues work on the collaborative study investigating the impact of B group vitamins on Bladder cancer, as part of the BLEND study. We’re looking forward to welcoming her back as she continues her dynamic research career!


Scholarship for NBRI Intern

Iris has been an awarded a scholarship by Maastricht University for her internship with NBRI for her Masters’ thesis. Congratulations Iris from all the team at NBRI here in Melbourne.

PhD Mentoring at NBRI

Dr Maree Brinkman will be co-supervising 2 new PhD students from Maastrict University, please keep a look out in our teams section for more details.

NBRI Intern publishes paper in the European Journal of Nutrition

All of the team at Nutrition Biomed Research Institute would like to congratulate Willem Witlox on the publication of his paper titled: An inverse association between the Mediterranean diet and bladder cancer risk, in the European Journal of Nutrition. Willem completed a 3 month internship with Nutrition Biomed Research Institute while completing his research masters at Maastricht university. The internship offered Willem an opportunity to broaden his understanding of nutrition to an international perspective and to learn from a leading dietitian in the field of cancer nutrition. The NBRI team is looking forward to hosting more successful partnerships in the future.


Dr Maree Brinkman presents webinar for Counterpart

Dr Maree Brinkman presented a webinar for Counterpart, an organisation supporting women with cancer, the webinar outlines the guidelines for a healthy diet applicable to everyone.

Watch it here

New Podcast for Cochrane Library: Selenium for preventing cancer

As one of the authors of the Cochrane Review “Selenium for preventing cancer”, Maree was invited to record a podcast discussing their results for the Cochrane Library.

This is the third update of the review looking at the possible use of selenium for the prevention of cancer.

Click here to have a listen

Vitamin D Review and Blog

Our systematic review  and meta-analysis on circulating levels of vitamin D and cancer risk is well underway, and we’re hoping to be able to shine a light on whether or not low levels of this vitamin increase cancer risk, and whether or not this varies by cancer type.

In the meantime, Dr Brinkman was asked to write a blog post for Melbourne Australia’s Cancer Specialists’ website:
Vitamin D and its Many Benefits

Upcoming Presentations

Cancer Council-Cancer Epidemiology department

Iris will be presenting her work to the researchers at the Cancer Epidemiology Department at the Cancer Council on Thursday 18th April 2019.

Nutritional Education Sessions for Cancer Survivors

The Nutritional Biomed Research Institute is proud to be hosting an upcoming educational series for cancer survivors. The sessions will provide information on how you can improve your diet, maintain consistent healthy eating habits and find renewed vitality in daily life through diet.

Keep an eye out on the NBRI website for information regarding the sessions, coming soon!

Past Presentations

Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Center

On the fourth of March 2019 Dr Maree Brinkman gave a presentation at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Center. They posted the following on their Facebook:

Dr Maree Brinkman, Dietitian and Nutritional Epidemiologist and Research Masters Student in Health Sciences Iris Boot, spoke to our patients today about how to have a healthy and nutritious diet during and after cancer treatment.

“Diet and nutrition is very important because it’s something that patients can take positive control of. Having a nutritious diet can also help to manage symptoms and side effects of treatment,” says Dr Brinkman.

The presentation is just one of many activities open to the general public at the ONJ Centre.

Afbeelding kan het volgende bevatten: 2 mensen, lachende mensen, staande mensen en binnen

Maastricht University-Complex Genetics Meeting

Dr Maree Brinkman was in Maastricht January 2019 to speak at the Complex Genetics Winter Meeting at Maastricht university. She presented on NBRI’s current projects and developing further collaborations.

19th Annual Asia-Pacific Prostate Cancer Conference - 2018

Maree spoke at the 2018 Prostate Cancer Conference in Brisbane, she spoke on the topic of Nutrition for Men on ADT, and the Gaps in Research

Her abstract entitled “Choosing Healthy Eating Choices and Keeping active for Men having the Androgen Therapy Experience: The CHECKMATE pilot study” was also presented at the poster presentation session.

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