Dr Mary Hickson qualified in 1989 as a dietitian from the University of Surrey, UK. She then spent the next 9 years working as a dietitian in a variety of clinical specialities in both the UK and Australia. She started to specialise in nutritional care of elderly people in 1993, working in elderly mental health, community services and acute medical care.
In 1998 she began a study to investigate ways to improve nutritional care on acute elderly medicine wards, which lead to gaining her doctorate in 2002, with Imperial College London. As a post doctoral researcher she worked on a trial to test the efficacy of probiotics in preventing antibiotic associated diarrhoea.
Her current post was established in 2004 in order to increase the research capacity in Therapy Services at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London. It involves training and education of staff in research skills; providing an advice and support service for clinical therapy staff to help them undertake research; and developing and implementing a research strategy to create a centre for therapy research. In addition to this role Dr Hickson continues to lead research at this centre for both probiotics, hospital nutritional care and nutrition in older people.
Dr Hickson is also actively involved in teaching nutrition to the medical undergraduate students at the College; represents Imperial College London on the Intercollegiate Group on Nutrition; leads a module for the Masters in Clinical Research Design and Management; and is the course organiser for the MRes Human Nutrition.
Qualifications: PhD, Registered Dietitian.
et al., 2016, Does body mass index impact on muscle wasting and recovery following critical illness? A pilot feasibility observational study, Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Vol:30, ISSN:1365-277X, Pages:227-235
et al., 2016, Increased Peptide YY blood concentrations, not decreased acyl-ghrelin, are associated with reduced hunger and food intake in healthy older women: preliminary evidence, Appetite, Vol:105, ISSN:1095-8304, Pages:320-327
et al., 2015, Impact of supplementation with amino acids or their metabolites on muscle wasting in patients with critical illness or other muscle wasting illness: a systematic review, Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Vol:28, ISSN:0952-3871, Pages:313-330
et al., 2012, Gastrointestinal hormones: the regulation of appetite and the anorexia of ageing, Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Vol:25, ISSN:0952-3871, Pages:3-15
Hickson M, Connolly A, Whelan K, 2011, Impact of protected mealtimes on ward mealtime environment, patient experience and nutrient intake in hospitalised patients, Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Vol:24, ISSN:0952-3871, Pages:370-374