Improving health and quality of life through research

Prevention and management of chronic diseases starts with quality research. At IPAN, we conduct world-leading research into all aspects of physical activity and nutrition across the lifespan, from conception to old age.

Deakin Distinguished Professor Jo Salmon

IPAN Director

Our research is ranked well above world standard*. It spans from the lab to real-world settings, including studying the biological mechanisms behind exercise and nutrition; using technology and exercise to prevent and manage chronic conditions; innovative solutions to improve nutrition; increase physical activity and reduce sedentary behaviour in our community; and develop evidence-based food policy.

Through our research, we strive to improve health outcomes in populations all over the world. Our team collaborates nationally and internationally, as well as across disciplines. We’re also committed to nurturing a new generation of leading researchers, through a supportive and dynamic research environment.

* Australian Research Council (2019). State of Australian University Research 2018–19: ERA National Report. Australian Research Council, Canberra.

Deakin Distinguished Professor Jo Salmon

IPAN Director

About us

Our vision is to improve the health of all populations through physical activity and nutrition research excellence.

Our purpose is to conduct high quality multidisciplinary physical activity and nutrition research to actively inform policy and practice to improve health, and build capacity in the field.



Director, Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition Deakin Distinguished Professor Jo Salmon
Deputy Director, Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition Deakin Distinguished Professor Anna Timperio
Deputy Director, Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition Professor Michelle Keske


Head of School Professor Brad Aisbett
Chair in Exercise and Ageing Professor Robin Daly
Head, Baker Deakin Department of Lifestyle and Diabetes and Chair, Lifestyle and Diabetes Professor David Dunstan
Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellow Professor Kylie Hesketh
Professor in Physical Activity and Disease Prevention Professor Ralph Maddison
Professor in Dietetics Professor Judi Porter
Associate Head of School, International and Partnerships Professor Aaron Russell
Chair In Sport Management Professor David Shilbury
Associate Head of School, Research Professor Glenn Wadley
Senior Lecturer Nutrition Sciences Associate Professor Kristy Bolton
Associate Head of School (Teaching and Learning, Food, Nutrition & Dietetics) Associate Professor Alison Booth
Associate Professor Associate Professor Helen Brown
Associate Professor of Exercise Physiology Associate Professor Steve Fraser
Associate Professor Associate Professor Mats Hallgren
NHMRC Emerging Leadership Fellow Associate Professor Shariful Islam
Clinical Associate Professor Associate Professor Nicole Kiss
Associate Professor, Public Health Nutrition Associate Professor Rachel Laws
Associate Professor Associate Professor Luana Main
Associate Professor Associate Professor Katie Rowe
Associate Professor (Research) Associate Professor David Scott
Associate Professor Associate Professor Chris Shaw
Associate Professor Associate Professor Steve Swanson
NHMRC Emerging Leadership Fellow Associate Professor Megan Teychenne
Associate Professor in Nutrition Science Associate Professor Michael Tieland
Associate Professor of Sociology Associate Professor Kim Toffoletti
Associate Professor Associate Professor Susan Torres
Associate Head of School (Teaching and Learning) Associate Professor Stuart Warmington
ARC DECRA Research Fellow Dr Lauren Arundell
Lecturer, Sport Coaching Dr Zoe Avner
Victorian Cancer Agency Early Career Research Fellow Dr Brenton Baguley
Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellow Dr Jordan Bakhsh
Senior Lecturer, Exercise Science (Lifespan) Dr Andrew Betik
Senior Lecturer Dr Jason Bonacci
Senior Lecturer In Biomechanics Dr Liz Bradshaw
Research Fellow Dr Barbara Brayner
Lecturer, Sport Coaching Dr David Broadbent
Associate Head of School (Partnerships) Dr Lyndell Bruce
Lecturer, Nutrition Science Dr Alissa Burnett
Post Doctoral Research Fellow Dr Johannes Carl
Senior Lecturer Dr Amelia Carr
Senior Lecturer, Sport Nutrition Dr Dominique Condo
Research Fellow Dr Ana Maria Contardo Ayala
NHMRC Early Career Fellow Dr Paddy Dempsey
Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellow Dr Suzanne Dixon-Suen
Lecturer, Physical Activity and Health Dr Katherine Downing
Senior Lecturer Of Sports Science Dr Eric Drinkwater
MS Australia Postdoctoral Research Fellow Dr Ellie Dunlop
Senior Lecturer In Applied Exercise And Sports Science Dr Dan Dwyer
Lecturer in Functional Anatomy / Strength & Conditioning Sciences Dr Simon Feros
Senior Lecturer, Applied Sport Science Dr Aaron Fox
Senior Lecturer Dr Hunter Fujak
Lecturer, Strength and Conditioning Sciences Dr Jackson Fyfe
Senior Research Fellow Dr Elena George
Senior Lecturer Population Nutrition Dr Carley Grimes
Lecturer, Exercise Physiology across the Lifespan Dr Lee Hamilton
Associate Research Fellow Dr Jeew Hettiarachchi
Research Fellow Dr Danielle Hiam
Senior Lecturer Dr Samantha Hoffman
Executive Dean Research Fellow Dr Paul Jansons
Senior Lecturer, Nutritional Sciences Dr Gunveen Kaur
Lecturer, Exercise and Sport Science Dr Claire Kenneally-Dabrowski
Lecturer, Motor Learning and Development Dr Aden Kittel
Senior Lecturer Dr Greg Kowalski
Postdoctoral Research Fellow Dr Konsita Kuswara
Senior Lecturer in Nutritional Science Dr Katie Lacy
Executive Dean of Health Research Postdoctoral Research Dr Tracy Lee
NHMRC Emerging Leadership Fellow Dr Rebecca Leech
Dean's Postdoctoral Research Fellow Dr Rebecca Lindberg
NHMRC Emerging Leadership Fellow Dr Katherine Livingstone
Senior Lecturer, Community and Public Health Nutrition Dr Penny Love
Dean's Strategic Implementation Science Fellow Dr Jiani Ma
Research Fellow Dr Priscila Machado
Senior Research Fellow Dr Helen Macpherson
Senior Lecturer, Biomedical Science Dr Matthew McKenzie
Senior Lecturer Dr Claire Margerison
Lecturer, Nutrition Science Dr Shaun Mason
Executive Dean Research Fellow Dr Emiliano Mazzoli
Lecturer in Sport Management Dr Joshua McLeod
Executive Dean Research Fellow Dr Jakub Mesinovic
Senior Lecturer Dr Clint Miller
Senior Lecturer Dr Catherine Milte
Senior Lecturer Dr Niamh Mundell
Lecturer, Community and Public Health Nutrition Dr Janandani Nanayakkara
Alfred Deakin Post Doctoral Research Fellow Dr Lucas Orssatto
NHMRC / National Heart Foundation Early Career Fellow Dr Lewan Parker
Executive Dean Health Research Fellow Dr Susan Paudel
Research Fellow Dr Jonathan Rawstorn
Lecturer, Human Physiology Dr Spencer Roberts
Senior Lecturer Dr Jonathan Robertson
Senior Lecturer, Food Innovation Dr Georgie Russell
Senior Lecturer Dr Shannon Sahlqvist
Associate Professor Dr Natalie Saunders
Lecturer, Sport Nutrition Dr Rhiannon Snipe
Senior Lecturer Dr Alison Spence
Senior Lecturer Dr Claudia Strugnell
Lecturer, Exercise and Sport Science Dr Jamie Tait
Senior Lecturer, Nutrition Sciences Dr Sze Yen Tan
Associate Research Fellow Dr Teketo Tegegne
Lecturer in Sport Science Dr Danielle Trowell
Senior Lecturer Dr Anne Turner
Executive Dean of Health Post-Doctoral Research Fellow Dr Tola Ushula
Senior Lecturer, Nutrition and Dietetics Dr Paige van der Pligt
Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellow Dr Simone Verswijveren
Lecturer, Physical Activity and Health Dr Anthony Walsh
Lecturer in Exercise Physiology Dr Kim Way
Research Fellow Dr Michael Wheeler
Lecturer, Sport Management Dr Damien Whitbrn
Research Fellow Dr Kate Wingrove
Research Fellow, Digital Health Dr Yuxin Zhang
ARC DECRA Research Fellow Dr Miaobing (Jazzmin) Zheng


Our researchers have access to world class sport and nutrition science and laboratory facilities at Deakin’s Burwood and Geelong campuses.

This includes:

  • State-of-the-art laboratories to take and analyse muscle and adipose tissue samples, common blood and urine biomarkers, ranging from simple blood lipids to more complex hormonal, inflammatory and oxidative stress biomarkers, and undertake nutritional analysis.
  • A research gymnasium to undertake resistance (strength) training, aerobic exercise, and high velocity functional power training tests.

Our facilities are extensively equipped with specialised equipment to allow for innovative research including:

  • Dual Energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), Quantitative Computed Tomography (QCT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines to accurately measure changes in total body and regional bone mineral density (BMD), bone structure and strength as well as body composition [lean tissue mass, fat mass, muscle cross-sectional area, subcutaneous fat area)
  • Electrocardiogram to measure heart rate and heart rate variability
  • Metabolic carts to measure oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production, to determine a person’s metabolic rate; how many calories a person burns in a day; and whether a person prefers to burn fat or carbohydrate.
  • Ultrasound machine to measure cardiovascular function including blood flow.
  • Metabolic gas analysers to assess maximal oxygen uptake and blood sampling devices.
  • Commercial-grade gym equipment, speed and power testing equipment.

Our history

The Physical Activity and Nutrition Research Unit was established with just four staff (pictured) at Deakin University in 2001.

In 2003, the Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition (C-PAN) was launched by then Governor of Victoria, the Hon. John Landy AC, as a Faculty-level research centre, and in 2004 became a University Research Priority Area.

By 2010, C-PAN had become a Strategic Research Centre within Deakin, and had expanded to 40 staff. In 2016 C-PAN was designated University Research Institute status and officially became the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN).

Today, IPAN has more than 90 research staff members, as well as five professional staff. Alfred Deakin Professor Jo Salmon is Director.

Two of the four founding members remain IPAN members.  While Alfred Deakin Professors David Crawford and Kylie Ball have moved on, they are still involved with IPAN in an honorary capacity as Emeritus Professors.

The original IPAN founders, L-R: Alfred Deakin Professors Jo Salmon, David Crawford, Anna Timperio and Kylie Ball