Dr Ivana Roosevelt Sequeira

MMedSc, PhD

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Research Fellow


I completed my doctorate in Gastrophysiology, Massey University, New Zealand. The thesis explored the use of the lactulose mannitol test of gut permeability for use as a dynamic test of gut ‘health’ or robustness. Hence that gut ‘health’ could be inferred from the resilience and recovery of the intestinal mucosa to a standardised perturbation. I refined and standardized a clinical test used traditionally to assess pathological disturbance of gut permeability in conditions such as coeliac disease and inflammatory bowel disease. Results showed several means by which the fidelity of the test could be improved and I developed an augmented test incorporating a noxious challenge to gut permeability using a single 600mg dose of aspirin. The research has been endorsed in an Editorial in a peer review journal. The work on developing the lactulose mannitol test was also awarded a Return on Science Fund (Ministry of Business and Innovation, New Zealand Pre Seed Accelerator Funding and Massey Ventures Ltd, Massey University) which allowed me to pursue a Post-doctoral position in the Digesta Group at Massey University during which the test provided a useful means of assessing the rates of intraluminal digestion of food matrices and the consequent liberation of soluble nutrients.

Research | Current

I am presently involved in the National Science Challenge High Value Nutrition (NSC-HVN) Metabolic Program - Peak Nutrition for Metabolic Health (PANaMAH), which is focussed on investigating the metabolic profile that characterises susceptibility and resilience to type 2 diabetes and to study the association and risk related to storage of ectopic body fat. Importantly, the studies within the program are designed to identify novel metabolomic biomarkers that may predict ectopic fat storage and later glucose response. Key to the outcomes of the project are the use of new and emerging methodologies such as (i) Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Spectroscopy to quantify fat storage in organs and (ii) global untargeted metabolomics using LC-MS. These have been initiated with National and International collaborators. The long term goal of the NSC-HVN PANaMAH program being to identify nutrition interventions/foods and beverages that prevent dysglycaemia and type 2 diabetes. Additional, areas of research expertise include clinical nutrition, gastrointestinal (GI) and clinical physiology - intestinal permeability testing and GI motility.



Teaching | Current


Postgraduate supervision

Current Doctoral

Mr Wilson Chun Yu Yip (Investigating biomarkers to determine susceptibility and resilience to developing type 2 diabetes, 2016 - Present; Co-supervisor)

Mr Jia Jiet Lim (Weight management and prevention of obesity - The role of protein in appetite control, 2016 - Present; Co-supervisor)

Mr Kok Hong Lieu (Targeting novel and early biomarkers of type 2 diabetes risk: longitudinal observation and nutrition interventions in Asian Chinese adults, 2020-2022; Lead Supervisor)


Current Masters

Mr Ibrahim Mohamed (Nutrition intervention studies targeting novel biomarkers to prevent and delay progression to developing type 2 diabetes, 2019 - Present; Lead supervisor).

Ms Criselda Meneses (Perceived ond Actual symptoms ofintolerance in lactose and non lactose forms of dairy intolerance, 2019 Present; Co-spervisor)


Completed Masters

Ms Courtney Leigh Gerlach (Ectopic lipid deposition in overweight women: an MRS study of the liver, 2017-2018; Co-supervisor)

Ms Tsz Yan Janice Lee (Evaluating metabolic risk markers and dietary patterns in European Caucasian and Asian Chinese individuals: TOFI_Asia study, 2018-2019; Co-supervisor)


Scholarship Programmes

Krissie Chenois - Summer Scholarship, School of Biological Science, 2019. 

Hannah Hoffman - DAAD RISE Scholarship, Universität Greifswald, 2018.

Elisabeth Roehbeck - DAAD RISE Scholarship, Molekulare Ernährungswissenschaften an der Universität Hohenheim, 2017.

Isabelle Goddard - Science Scholars Programme, UoA, 2019-20. 

Jennifer Shin - Science Scholars Programme, UoA, 2020-21. 

Azita Nafissi - Science Scholars Programme, UoA, 2020-21. 

Rebecca Boniface - Science Scholars Programme, UoA, 2020-21. 




  • Recipient of Doctoral Scholarship (2010-2015) from The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Ltd (funded by MBIE)
  • Recipient of Travel Grant from the Physiological Society, UK to present at the Young Physiologists Symposium, Edinburg 2012, Integrative Physiology, (Physiology 2012)
  • Recipient of Return on Science Fund (Ministry of Business and Innovation, New Zealand Pre Seed Accelerator Funding and Massey Ventures Ltd, Massey University) in 2015 with Prof Roger G Lentle, Massey University, NZ
  • Recipient of Travel Grant from the Auckland Medical Research Foundation, Auckland, NZ to present at the Australia New Zealand Obesity Society Annual meeting, Adelaide Australia 2017
  • Recipient of Food and Health Program Seed Funding, September 2018




  • Management of Staff and students at the Human Nutrition Unit
  • Equity Representative, Faculty of Science Post Doc Committee (2019-2021)
  • School of Biological Sciences Equity Executive Committee
  • Faculty of Science Equity Committee (FOSEC)


Areas of expertise

  • Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Health - obesity and type 2 diabetes
  • Gastrointestinal physiology - permeability and motility testing
  • Magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy (MRI/S) of abdominal and intra organ fat deposition

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Current Affiliations

Faculy of Science Postdoctoral Society Equity Committee

International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine

Australia New Obesity Society

Nutrition Society of New Zealand

Indian Dietetic Association

Indian Nutrition Society


Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Ramzan, F., D'Souza RF, Durainayagam, B. R., Milan, A. M., Markworth, J. F., Miranda-Soberanis, V., ... Mitchell, C. J. (2019). Circulatory miRNA biomarkers of metabolic syndrome. Acta diabetologica10.1007/s00592-019-01406-6
  • Yip, W. C., Sequeira, I. R., Plank, L. D., & Poppitt, S. D. (2017). Prevalence of pre-diabetes across ethnicities: A review of impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) for classification of dysglycaemia. Nutrients, 9 (11)10.3390/nu9111273
  • Sequeira, I. R., & Poppitt, S. D. (2017). Unfolding novel mechanisms of polyphenol flavonoids for better glycaemic control: Targeting pancreatic islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP). Nutrients, 9 (7)10.3390/nu9070788
  • Sequeira, I. R., & Poppitt, S. D. (2017). HbA1c as a marker of prediabetes: a reliable screening tool or not?. Insights in Nutrition and Metabolism, 1 (1), 21-29.
  • Lentle, R. G., Sequeira, I. R., Hardacre, A. K., & Reynolds, G. (2016). A method for assessing real time rates of dissolution and absorption of carbohydrate and other food matrices in human subjects. Food and Function, 7 (6), 2820-2832. 10.1039/c6fo00406g
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/33796
  • Sequeira, I. R., Lentle, R. G., Kruger, M. C., & Hurst, R. D. (2015). Assessment of the Effect of Intestinal Permeability Probes (Lactulose And Mannitol) and Other Liquids on Digesta Residence Times in Various Segments of the Gut Determined by Wireless Motility Capsule: A Randomised Controlled Trial. PLoS ONE, 10 (12).10.1371/journal.pone.0143690
  • Sequeira, I. R., Kruger, M. C., Hurst, R. D., & Lentle, R. G. (2015). Ascorbic Acid may Exacerbate Aspirin-Induced Increase in Intestinal Permeability. Basic and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, 117 (3), 195-203. 10.1111/bcpt.12388
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/33803
  • Sequeira, I. R., Lentle, R. G., Kruger, M. C., & Hurst, R. D. (2014). Standardising the lactulose mannitol test of gut permeability to minimise error and promote comparability. PLoS ONE, 9 (6).10.1371/journal.pone.0099256


Contact details

Primary office location

Level 4, Room 401
New Zealand

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