press release
Published: 30 January 2019

University of Surrey academic is the first nutritionist to scoop the National Osteoporosis Society Young Scientist prize for ground breaking research

By Natasha Meredith

Dr Andrea Darling from the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Surrey has been awarded the National Osteoporosis Society Young Scientist Prize for her work investigating Vitamin D and its impact on the bone health of South Asian women.

Andrea Darling

Following a competitive selection process, Dr Darling is the first ever nutritionist to be awarded this prestigious prize which recognises the outstanding work of young scientists undertaking research into osteoporosis and fractures. As part of her award Dr Darling will receive a £4,000 grant to further her research in the field.

A graduate from the University of Surrey BSc (Hons) Nutrition and Dietetics course and PhD programme, Dr Darling has been examining the impact vitamin D deficiency has on South Asian women. She has been examining the impact vitamin D deficiency has on South Asian women. She has discovered that this group has a potentially increased risk of poor bone health due to their lack of exposure to vitamin D through sunshine and from their diet.

Dr Andrea Darling, said: “I am delighted to have been awarded this prize. Becoming the first ever nutritionist to win this award recognises the growing body of evidence which shows the importance of nutrition in bone health. Without good bone health, our ability to live our lives to its fullest is severely impacted and to date there has been a lack of research into the bone health of South Asian populations.”

Professor Sue Lanham-New, Head of the Department of Nutritional Science, at the University of Surrey, said: “It is an enormous achievement for Andrea to have won this prize. She was up against fierce competition from clinical scientists and bone biologists and I am delighted the judges recognised the high quality of her work.

“Having award winning researchers like Andrea at Surrey is why we are one of the top nutrition schools in the country.”

Also honoured at the ceremony was Surrey postgraduate student Marcela Moraes Mendes who received a Research Young Investigator Award for her PhD abstract which examined the impact of sunlight exposure and vitamin D supplementation on bone health. 

Professor Sue Lanham-New, Head of the Department of Nutritional Science, at the University of Surrey, said: “I am pleased that Marcela has been awarded this fantastic prize which is testament to her hard work and dedication. It is a privilege to see students like Marcela excel in their field and I look forward to watching what she achieves at Surrey.”   

You can find out more about the work of the National Osteoporosis Society at https://nos.org.uk/

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