Human Nutrition Research Centre

Staff Profile

Alison Barnes

Lecturer in Human Nutrition & Dietetics


Alison Barnes is a Registered Dietitian with a particular interest in diabetes and weight management. She is a lecturer for the Dietetics and Food & Human Nutrition undergraduate courses at Newcastle University, and particularly enjoys helping students to foster a holistic approach to Dietetics and a critical thought process when applying reasearch to everyday practice. 

For the past 6 years Alison has worked as a lead Research Dietitian on groundbreaking research studies into remission of Type 2 diabetes using low calorie diets, including the Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial (DiRECT) which was published in The Lancet scientific journal in 2018. This research is now being adopted as a diabetes treatment by the NHS in England and Scotland. Alison has spoken at numerous national conferences about the research, including presenting the main study outcomes at the Diabetes UK conference in 2019 and most recently was a guest speaker at the American Diabetes Association Annual Scientific Sessions in June 2020. She is a graduate of the Diabetes UK Clinical Champions leadership programme, an invited judge for the annual Sanofi Quality in Care (QiC) Diabetes Awards and has helped advise NHS England on development of their forthcoming national pilot programme using low calorie diets for 5000 people currently living with Type 2 diabetes.   

Alison has a first class BSc (Hons) in Human Nutrition from Northumbria University, a Postgraduate Diploma in Dietetics from Leeds Metropolitan University. and a BA (Hons) in English Literature from Newcastle University. Having grown up in Newcastle, Alison feel proveleged to teach students about the subjects she is passionate about in the City she loves.  


The Diabetes remission Clinical Trial (DiRECT): Since recruitment in April 2014 Alison has worked as the lead dietitian for the 2 year RCT and ongoing follow up phase of this groundbreaking trial. Using a low calorie diet to help participants achiebe significant weight loss and keep it off, just under half of participants were in diabetes remission (blood sugar levels below the diabetes range with no medication) at 12 months. The study is funded by Diabetes UK and was awarded their largest ever research grant of £2.4million. Find information about the study and results here

ReTUNE study (ongoing) investigating the effect of weight loss on Type 2 diabetes for individuals who are diagnosed with this type of diabetes at a lower Body Mass Index (BMI)

WELLBABE (completed) investigating the effect of a food-based calorie reduced diet in late pregnancy for women with Gestational Diabetes (diabetes in pregnancy)


Alison is Module Coordinator for the Food Studies module of the Newcastle MDiet in Dietetics, and teaches into this and the other Dietetics modules.

Alison is also a lecturer for modules on the school's Food & Human Nutrition courses.