Professor Sally Diana Poppitt



Appointed to the Fonterra Chair in Human Nutrition at the University of Auckland in June 2012, Sally is the founding Director of the University’s Human Nutrition Unit, a residential intervention facility established as a collaboration between the School of Biological Sciences and the Department of Medicine. Currently she is based within the Institute for Innovation in Biotechnology (IIB). Sally is also Principal Investigator for the Metabolic Health platform within the National Science Challenge High Value Nutrition (HVN) program, and member of the Science Leadership Team. She also holds a joint appointment at the New Zealand Centre of Research Excellence (CORE) for Food and Nutrition within the Riddet Institute.

Originally from Cambridge in the UK, Sally came to Auckland to take up a 5 year position as lecturer/senior lecturer in Nutrition in the Department of Medicine, after which she returned to the UK for 2 years.  The opportunity to take on the role of Director of Clinical Trials Development at Protemix Corporation, a University spin off company developing therapies to prevent the metabolic complications of diabetes, led to her return to the University of Auckland as an Associate Professor within SBS in 2006.

Prior to her original appointment in the University, Sally held a 5 year Bristol Myers Mead Johnson research fellowship at the Medical Research Council & University of Cambridge Dunn Nutrition Unit in the UK; she also spent 3 years at the Dunn’s tropical nutrition research centre in rural West Kiang in The Gambia, on the far western tip of West Africa. 

Research | Current

Current research is focused on the prevention and treatment of conditions arising from poor nutrition including overweight and obesity, metabolic dysregulation, and diabetic and cardiovascular risk. She has a particular interest in the mechanisms which underpin appetite regulation and the control of food intake. Within her role at the University she leads the dairy Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) human nutrition platform, part of the $72M joint NZ government/industry funded 7 year program of innovation for dairy science.


Fonterra Chair of Human Nutrition, University of Auckland

Director, Human Nutrition Unit, University of Auckland

Member of the Riddet Institute, Centre of Research Excellence(CoRE)  for Food and Nutrition

Areas of expertise

Human Nutrition; Clinical Intervention Trials; Obesity and Weight Control; Appetite Regulation; Diabetes and Cardiovascular Risk

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Paulino Silvestre, M. F., McMahon, C., Goode, J. P., Vlaskovsky, P., Tay, A., & Poppitt, S. D. (2018). The role of glucagon in weight loss-mediated metabolic improvement: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Obesity Reviews, 19 (2), 233-253. 10.1111/obr.12631
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Marta Paulino Silvestre
  • Mitchell, C., D'Souza R, Mitchell, S., Figueiredo, V., Miller, B., Hamilton, K., ... Durainayagam, B. (2017). The impact of dairy protein during limb immobilization and recovery on muscle size and protein synthesis; A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Applied Physiology10.1152/japplphysiol.00803.2017
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Cameron Mitchell, Randall D'Souza, David Cameron-Smith
  • 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
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Ivana Sequeira
  • Moller, G., Sluik, D., Ritz, C., Mikkila, V., Raitakari, O. T., Hutri-Kahonen, N., ... Silvestre, M. P. (2017). A protein diet score, including plant and animal protein, investigating the association with HbA1c and eGFR - The PREVIEW Project. Nutrients, 9 (7)10.3390/nu9070763
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Marta Paulino Silvestre
  • Fogelholm, M., Larsen, T., Westerterp-Plantenga, M., Macdonald, I., Martinez, J. A., Boyadjieva, N., ... Sundvall, J. (2017). PREVIEW: PREVention of diabetes through lifestyle Intervention and population studies in Europe and around the World. Design, methods and baseline participant description of an adult cohort enrolled into a 3-year randomized clinical trial. Nutrients, 9 (6)10.3390/nu9060632
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Marta Paulino Silvestre
  • Poppitt, S. D. (2017). Hyperglycaemia, pre-diabetes and diabesity: Can we choose who to ‘fast-track’ into diabetes prevention?. Current Research in Diabetes & Obesity Journal, 2 (3)10.19080/CRDOJ.2017.2.555590
  • Lee, K., Paulino Silvestre, M., Raben, A., Fogelholm, M., & Poppitt, S. (2017). Serum IGF-II and IGF2R in diabetes and obesity: relation to weight, fasting glucose and weight loss intervention in an overweight, pre-diabetic NZ population. Paper presented at 24th European Congress of Obesity, Porto, Portugal. 17 May - 20 May 2017. Obesity Facts. European Congress on Obesity (ECO2017) 24th Congress, Porto, May 2017: Abstracts. 10.1159/000468958
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Marta Paulino Silvestre, Kate Lee
  • 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.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Ivana Sequeira


Contact details

Alternative contact

(9) 373 7599

extn: 83062

Web links