Dietetics PhD student profile – Alex Pinto

Alex Pinto qualified with a bachelor's degree in nutritional sciences from University of Porto, Portugal in 2015. He has also spent one year of his degree at University of Valencia in Spain. He has completed internships in Portugal as a dietitian in Centro Hospitalar do Porto, studying Inherited Metabolic Disorders (IMD), as well as in the community setting at Centro de Apoio Social de Mozelos (nursery and nursing home). In 2016, he did an internship with the IMD dietetic team at Birmingham Children’s Hospital being further appointed as a Dietetic Research Assistant until present. Alex has participated in several research projects about different metabolic disorders and one of his main tasks is to do multicentre research across Europe. He has 12 peer reviewed publications and has done several national and international talks. 

The purpose of Alex’s PhD is to study factors affecting metabolism and metabolic control in Phenylketonuria (PKU). This will include research projects assessing longitudinal changes in metabolic control in PKU across Europe and analyse the effect of treatments changes. He will also study how specific aspects of the dietary treatment may affect metabolic control. Some projects will focus on impact of availability of phenylalanine from different dietary sources as well as the physiological impact of different low phenylalanine sources in the management of PKU. Our aim is to help people’s daily life when managing a low phenylalanine diet. We aim to make dietary management less of a burden as well as giving dietitians the right knowledge to manage the disorder in the best possible way based on scientific evidence.