Student & ECR Spotlight – Dr. Christopher Holmberg is interested in researching lifestyle habits among patients with psychotic disorders

Please tell us about your career pathway to date (positions and institutes).

I completed my PhD in Food and Nutrition in 2018 and almost immediately after graduation, I started working as an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Health and Care Sciences, University of Gothenburg. I am also a Registered Nurse (2011), with a BSc in Health Care Administration (2011) and a MSc in Public Administration (2013). Now, I am able to combine research with teaching and clinical work as I also work 20% at a University Hospital mainly leading clinical research projects.

How would you briefly describe your current research/job to someone who is not familiar with your field of study/work? What is your main research interest?

My current research is centered around patients with psychotic disorders and lifestyle habits with a focus on food and physical activity. My research is clinically situated within outpatient psychiatry. Currently, I am analyzing register-based data of our 2600 enrolled patients to observe trends in BMI and blood pressure and how it correlated with function assessment and psychopathology. We are also evaluating a project with ‘health coaches’ that were employed at two of our outpatient clinics.

What are the main barriers you encounter/experience when conducting research, or what information/skills do you lack to conduct high quality research?

Well, time is always an issue. Besides that; as my current focus is on patients with psychotic disorders, one main problem is recruitment due to, for example, fluctuations in mood and disease specific factors. Furthermore, it can sometimes be difficult to fully involve healthcare staff as they are busy with their regular clinical job.

What could help you as a student/ECR to further develop/grow in your current position?

Networking and collaborating partners. Particularly colleagues that have a clinical affiliation.

What do you think will be the next most important development in the nutrition and/or physical activity field? 

For nutrition, I think the development and usage of objective measures of food intake such as assessing skin carotenoids using non-invasive procedures e.g., Resonance Raman spectroscopy (RRS).

If you are interested in hearing more and would like to get in touch with Christopher, you can reach him via email [email protected] or Twitter @c_holmberg