Meet the Researcher

Associate Professor Yasmine Probst

University of Wollongong, NSW

Yasmine Probst is an Associate Professor/Principle Fellow with the School of Medical, Indigenous and Health Sciences at the University of Wollongong and Research Fellow at the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute.

Associate Professor Probst, diagnosed with MS in 2004, is a practicing dietician. Her early diagnosis and background in nutrition have helped her effectively manage her condition. She has subsequently embarked on a successful career in MS research focusing on many interesting areas.

About Associate Professor Yasmine Probst

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself
I am a mum of three kids (born within three years of each other) and literally spend six of my seven days each week at representative football (soccer) with my kids.
What inspired you to get involved in MS research?
As a person with MS who is also trained in nutrition, I saw the very real struggle that many people face in their relationship with food. Since I was a child, I have always had a love for food and my aim is to help others who are diagnosed with MS to not only love food but also to appreciate the many benefits that food can provide to our health.
What do you think has been the most exciting development in MS research?
For me one of the most exciting developments is the growing understanding of the re-myelination of our central nervous system. While we are still at the very early stages of understanding the effect of what we eat and on disease progression in MS, I hope the future of MS research will see a role for food and dietary patterns in relation to this understanding re-myelination even further.
Tell us about your current research project
The current project will consider the challenges of health behaviour change from a range of different areas. We will be conducting a multi-site, clinical trial study that makes use of our learnings in recent years of the flexibility of delivering health care using remote forms of communication. We will consider elements of nutrition, exercise and psychology in our study and compare these with usual MS care. The main outcome for our study is weight loss in people living with MS who are also living in a bigger body, but the focus will not be on the weight but on the whole person and their personal circumstances.
Why is your research important and how will it influence the understanding and treatment of MS?
To date, we know that excess weight early in life can influence a persons risk of developing MS. We also know that carrying extra weight, when a person has been diagnosed with MS, creates added inflammation in the body and in turn may result in increased symptoms and/or progression. The challenge of how we help people to manage this weight while at the same time managing a very complex and lifelong condition is what we will tackle in our study. If we can help people living with MS to manage comorbidities this is likely to have a flow on effect to other parts of their health and their general quality of life. Our study will add to the evidence for behaviour change for MS and our understanding of the interaction between different health behaviour change strategies.
What do you enjoy most about working in the lab and what are some of the challenges you face?
My greatest enjoyment is sharing my MS journey with others while also helping them to untangle the complexity of the information that is thrust upon us as people living with a chronic neurodegenerative condition. Translating what we have found in our research into practical and useful messages that people can understand and use in their day to day lives is a highlight of this process.
Read More

Newsletter subscription

  • Enter your details

Yasmine Probst