Intellectual Valley?s Australia Day ambassador

By ADRIAN MILLER

THE Clarence Valley's Australia Day ambassador, Professor Jennie Brand-Miller, has published 16 books, more than 200 journal articles and is internationally renowned for her research into carbohydrates and insulin resistance.

She is remarkable not just for her research, but because it has been achieved since she went deaf seven years ago.

But after she received a cochlear implant ? which she described was 'like connecting jump leads to a battery that was running flat' ? she went on to make her most important discoveries.

"My hearing had gone down gradually to the point where I was seriously considering retiring within a few months, and that was seven years ago," she said.

"And my most important achievements have been made in the last seven years since I had the implant."

Prof Brand-Miller will visit the Clarence Valley today, taking in the many celebrations throughout the area.

She said it would be her first trip to the region and she was looking forward to the experience.

"I'm quite excited about it because it's nice to go into rural NSW as I don't get to leave Sydney very often," she said.

"I love the feeling of going into a small country town and I just like the feeling of being in a situation which is a bit calmer than city life."

Prof Brand-Miller made her name researching carbohydrates, insulin resistance and the Glycemic Index ? a ranking of carbohydrates based on how quickly they reach the blood stream after being ingested.

She was nominated as one of four finalists in the NSW Australian of the Year, but was pipped by Justice Michael Kirby, who is a finalist for Australian of the Year.

She said she was honoured to have been nominated, but couldn't quite believe it.



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