MD, Paediatrician, PhD
Valentina is a General Paediatrician and a Clinical Research Fellow with a special interest in Paediatric Endocrinology. She took her Medical Doctor degree and specialty in Paediatrics at the University of Chieti (Italy) in 2006 and 2012, respectively. In January 2013, Valentina started a PhD at the University of Chieti on the theme of early life events and later cardiovascular and metabolic disease. From February 2014, she carried out part of her PhD work at the Liggins Institute (University of Auckland) under the supervision of Prof Cutfield, Prof Hofman, Associate Prof O'Sullivan and Dr Derraik. She has mainly been involved in a research study focused on being born very preterm (less than 32 weeks of gestation) and the role of the gut microbiome in metabolism. In addition, Valentina has initiated internal collaborations within the Liggins Institute focused on children at risk of metabolic disease, such as those born small (SGA) or large (LGA) for gestational age. In 2015 she has been awarded a Long-term Research Fellowship granted by the European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology (ESPE) to work on the research project “Preterm birth and the role of the gut microbiome in metabolism” at the Liggins Institute.
Valentina obtained her PhD degree in March 2016. Subsequently, she continued working as a Research Fellow at the Liggins Institute, focusing on the impact of gut bacteria on health and disease.
Her current research is examining the effectiveness of oral administration of maternal vaginal bacteria in restoring the gut microbiota in twins born via C-section.
Research | Current
Valentina is involved in a proof-of-concept, randomised controlled trial to assess whether oral administration of maternal vaginal microbiota in twins born by C-section will lead to an increased gut bacterial diversity and richness. In 2017 this research project, which is led by Prof Wayne Cutfield (Principal investigator), has been awarded an Explorer Health Research Council (HRC) Grant.
- 2015 ESPE Long-Term Research Fellowship for the research project “Preterm birth and the role of the gut microbiome in metabolism”.
- 2014 Australasian Paediatric Endocrine Care (APEC) Research Grant for the research project “Preterm birth and the role of the gut microbiome in metabolism”.
- 2013/2014 Italian Society for Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes (SIEDP/ISPED) scholarship for the research project “Seven-year follow-up of offspring exposed to maternal exercise in utero”.
- 2016 Maurice & Phyllis Paykel Trust travel grant to attend the Joint Meeting of the Asia Pacific Paediatric Endocrine Society (APPES) & Japanese Society for Pediatric Endocrinology (JSPE). Tokyo, Japan.
- 2015 Australasia Paediatric Endocrine Group (APEG) travel grant to attend the Joint Meeting of the International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD) & APEG. Brisbane, Australia.
- 2014 APPES & APEG travel grant to attend the APPES & APEG Joint Meeting. Darwin, Australia.
- 2010 ESPE travel grant to attend the ESPE Meeting. Prague, Czech Republic.
- 2009 ISPAD travel grant to attend the ISPAD Meeting. Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Areas of expertise
Main research areas of interest are:
i) Impact of early life events on later disease (e.g. obesity and diabetes).
ii) Being born SGA and LGA and related complications.
iii) The role of the gut microbiome in health and disease.
Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)
- Chiavaroli, F., Derraik, J. G. B., Zani, G., Lavezzi, S., Chiavaroli, V., Sherwin, E., & Basaglia, N. (2016). Epidemiology and clinical outcomes in a multicentre regional cohort of patients with severe acquired brain injury. Disability and rehabilitation, 38 (20), 2038-2046. 10.3109/09638288.2015.1111439
Other University of Auckland co-authors: José Derraik
- Marcovecchio, M. L., de Giorgis, T., Di Giovanni, I., Chiavaroli, V., Chiarelli, F., & Mohn, A. (2016). Association between markers of endothelial dysfunction and early signs of renal dysfunction in pediatric obesity and type 1 diabetes. Pediatric diabetes10.1111/pedi.12391
- Chiavaroli, V., Castorani, V., Guidone, P., Derraik, J. G. B., Liberati, M., Chiarelli, F., & Mohn, A. (2016). Incidence of infants born small- and large-for-gestational-age in an Italian cohort over a 20-year period and associated risk factors. Italian journal of pediatrics, 4210.1186/s13052-016-0254-7
Other University of Auckland co-authors: José Derraik
- Chiavaroli, V., Derraik, J. G. B., Hofman, P. L., & Cutfield, W. S. (2016). Born Large for Gestational Age: Bigger Is Not Always Better. The Journal of pediatrics, 170, 307-311. 10.1016/j.jpeds.2015.11.043
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Paul Hofman, Wayne Cutfield, José Derraik
- Heather, N. L., Derraik, J. G. B., Chiavaroli, V., Hofman, P. L., & Cutfield, W. S. (2016). Increasing severity of traumatic brain injury in early childhood is associated with a progressive reduction in long-term serum thyroid-stimulating hormone concentrations. Clinical endocrinology, 84 (3), 465-467. 10.1111/cen.12961
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Wayne Cutfield, Paul Hofman, José Derraik
- Jayasinghe, T. N., Chiavaroli, V., Holland, D. J., Cutfield, W. S., & O'Sullivan JM (2016). The New Era of Treatment for Obesity and Metabolic Disorders: Evidence and Expectations for Gut Microbiome Transplantation. Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 610.3389/fcimb.2016.00015
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Justin O'Sullivan, Wayne Cutfield
- Chiavaroli, V., Cutfield, W. S., Derraik, J. G. B., Pan, Z., Ngo, S., Sheppard, A., ... Ahlsson, F. (2015). Infants born large-for-gestational-age display slower growth in early infancy, but no epigenetic changes at birth. Scientific reports, 510.1038/srep14540
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Allan Sheppard, Wayne Cutfield, José Derraik, Lynn Sadler
- De Leonibus, C., Marcovecchio, M. L., Chiavaroli, V., de Giorgis, T., Chiarelli, F., & Mohn, A. (2014). Timing of puberty and physical growth in obese children: a longitudinal study in boys and girls. Pediatric obesity, 9 (4), 292-299. 10.1111/j.2047-6310.2013.00176.x