Ketogenic Dietitians Research Network

Ketogenic Dietitians

Research Network

Who we are and what we do

To further our ambitions to develop the evidence base of KDs and bring together the community of ketogenic dietitians, the Ketogenic Dietitians Research Network (KDRN) was established in January 2017 by Dr Natasha Schoeler (UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health). Following invaluable discussions with Kirsty Martin-McGill (University of Chester) and Victoria Whiteley (Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital) at an international conference, ketogenic dietitians from across the UK were invited to an initial meeting to ‘test the waters’ – the response was overwhelming, and it was clear that the network was an entity welcomed by many. The rest, as they say, is history!

The Ketogenic Dietitians Research Network is a group of paediatric and adult ketogenic dietitians, researchers and other healthcare professionals. The aims of the group are to:

  • Provide support for dietitians participating or interested in undertaking ketogenic diet related research
  • Foster multidisciplinary collaboration for clinical and research work among ketogenic diet centres
  • Apply for funded research time for dietetic-led projects
  • Promote evidence-based practice by publishing results from our projects

The ethos of the group is inclusivity. Every member brings a unique skill set – we are lucky to have members who work in a wide variety of settings within the UK and internationally, including those who are new to ketogenics, as well as some ‘old timers’ (meant in the nicest possible way!). Such a mix ensures that research project ideas never stop flowing and there is never a dull moment in our meetings.

An Executive Committee of a core group of members, elected by vote took on voluntary roles to ensure the network’s smooth running and continued success. A KDRN Constitution was formulated to formalise matters such as group membership, the duties of Committee members, data management, raising of funds, general meetings and regulations regarding
voting and alterations to the group. A consensus statement regarding the role of industry and charitable bodies within and alongside the group has also been formulated.

We meet approximately three times a year, with much email and teleconference communication in between! Research project ideas are brainstormed and voted upon by group members, drawing on our expertise and experiences from working in ketogenics to identify clinical priorities in this sub-speciality of dietetics. A ‘working party’ is established for each research project where members volunteer if they wish to partake in a particular project. Goals and deadlines are decided with the consensus of the group. Much of the work is completed in people’s own time, which is testament to the dedication and enthusiasm of our members.

 Our work has been published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics and Epilepsia Open, and presented at national and international conferences, including the British Paediatric Neurology Association annual conference, Ketocollege, Ketoconference, UCL Neurosciences Symposia and the 6th Global Symposium on Ketogenic Therapies for Neurological Disorders.

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