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Dr Natasha Schoeler
30 Guilford Street
Dr Natasha Schoeler profile picture
  • Research Dietitian
  • Developmental Neurosciences Dept
  • UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
  • Faculty of Pop Health Sciences
Research Summary

During the past decade, I have focused on developing high-quality clinical dietetic research in ketogenic diet therapy (KDT) as a treatment for epilepsy, including genetic laboratory and bioinformatics work, clinical trials and qualitative research. My vision is to be a world leader in KDT clinical research, leading international collaborations to improve care and treatment of individuals with epilepsy and, ultimately, other disorders.

KDT research

My doctoral research focused on genetic predictors of response to KDT, including the first candidate gene-driven and genome-wide association study investigating associations with seizure reduction from KDT. I also explored parental attitudes towards KDT using questionnaires and investigated the relationship between attitudinal group and KDT response using correlation statistics. I now work on the Ketogenic Diet in Infants with Epilepsy (KIWE) randomised controlled trial, liaising with centres nationwide to ensure consistent implementation of KDT, using monitoring, systematic review and meta-analysis methodology. KIWE is the first phase IV study to investigate KDT efficacy in under 2s compared to further anti-seizure drug treatment; it has increased referrals of infants with drug-resistant epilepsy for KDT in the UK and aims to further enhance awareness of KDT efficacy in this population internationally.

I also lead research analysis and dietetic patient management within a feasibility study of ‘Betashot’, a product undergoing prescription approval for use in children and adults with epilepsy. I am responsible for protocol creation, data analysis using descriptive and inferential statistics, and leading development of future studies through focus groups, interviews, thematic analysis and clinical trial design. I am planning development of an online national registry, collaborating with (inter)national healthcare professionals, colleagues from UCL Department of Information Studies, stakeholder charities and industry, and KDT patients and families.

Teaching Summary

I have UCL PhD Supervisor status and have acted as primary supervisor 6 MSc and BSc projects. I have lectured on the UCL MSc Eating Disorders and Clinical Nutrition course and have mentored a Bill Marshall fellow for her KDT-related research project. 

I have supervised 2 Nuffield school student placements and am helping to plan a work experience scheme to encourage students from under-represented groups to apply to higher education. I am entering my second year as Research and Teaching Department Representative for Developmental Neurosciences, which has included pastoral support for postgraduate students, attendance of Staff Student Consultative Committees and organising postgraduate statistical help workshops. I am co-founder of the Allied Health Professionals in Academia network, initiated to support non-medical healthcare professionals navigate and progress with clinical academic careers. I am part of a national group liaising with NIHR to support sustainability of clinical academic career structures within the NHS and academia.

APR-2019 – NOV-2020 Bank Dietitian Nutrition and Dietetics Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, United Kingdom
MAR-2019 – SEP-2019 Bank Paediatric Dietitian Dietetics Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, United Kingdom
DEC-2017 Research Fellow / Dietitian Developmental Neurosciences UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, United Kingdom
APR-2017 – NOV-2017 Bank Paediatric Dietitian Dietetics University Hospital Lewisham, United Kingdom
AUG-2015 – DEC-2017 Dietetic Assistant Developmental Neurosciences UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, United Kingdom
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