Dr Thompson completed her BTech (Food Technology) and PhD (Food Technology) at Massey University. While working as a Post Doctoral Fellow at the Riddet Institute, she developed an interest in expanding her knowledge into human nutrition and nutrigenomics. She was awarded a 3-year research fellowship from the New Zealand government in 2007, and joined the Hugh Sinclair Nutrition Group (HSNU) at the University of Reading (UK). During her time at the HSNU, Dr Thompson co-authored an advisory report that helped inform the Department of Health’s policy on trans fatty acid intake, and was involved in a range of human clinical nutrition studies. Dr Thompson then moved to PepsiCo’s global R&D Nutrition team for 2 ½ years. She returned to the Riddet Institute in early 2013 to join the Management team, and lead the Institute’s commercialisation and contract research activities until 2017 when she then became CEO of FoodHQ.

Dr Thompson’s research experience ranges from food science (microencapsulation, protein and lipid chemistry) through to clinical nutrition (endothelial function and cardiovascular heath, nutrogenomics, insulin signalling and metabolism, lipid metabolism, mineral absorption). She also has an awareness of farming practices, food processing, marketing and consumer science, and public health. This provides her with a unique understanding across the Agrifood value chain, and a valuable perspective on the Riddet Institute’s fundamental, strategic and applied research activities.

Awards & Honours

2013 – Selected as New Zealand’s representative for LEAD360, an IFT programme for emerging leaders in Food Science and Technology

2008 – Leader of winning team in the UK’s Biotechnology Young Entrepreneur Scheme

2007 – FRST Postdoctoral Fellowship (top 2% of Post-doctoral candidates)

2001 – Bright Future’s Top Achiever Doctoral Scholar (top 5% of PhD candidates)

2000 – Massey Scholar (top 5% of graduates)