Professor Lawrence has more than 30 years’ experience working as a practitioner and academic in food and nutrition policy at local, national and international levels. His research interests focus on food and nutrition policy and food systems. He and his colleagues have secured over $6.5 million in category 1 research grants to investigate the science and politics of evidence use in nutrition policy-making, particularly in relation to Dietary guidelines, Nutrient Reference Values, food regulation and obesity prevention. He is leading a transdisciplinary research team, funded by an ARC Linkage grant (SUSTAIN), that is analysing policy interventions to promote healthy and sustainable food systems. Also, he is a Chief Investigator at the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Centre for Research Excellence in Obesity Policy and Food Systems.
Mark teaches at postgraduate level in food policy and public health. He is a regular presenter at national and international conferences and has published widely. He was responsible for developing the Public Health Nutrition component of the Nutrition Society of Australia’s professional registration scheme. Mark is a technical advisor to the World Health Organization, a member of the joint Australian Department of Health’s and New Zealand Ministry of Health’s Advisory Committee for the review of the Nutrient Reference Values, a member of Food Standards Australia New Zealand’s Public Health Dialogue, and a former member of the NHMRC’s Dietary Guidelines Working Committee.
Mark's research interests focus on food and nutrition policy and food systems. He and his colleagues have secured over $6.5 million in category 1 research grants to investigate the science and politics of evidence use in nutrition policy-making, particularly in relation to Dietary guidelines, Nutrient Reference Values, food regulation and obesity prevention.
He is leading a transdisciplinary research team, funded by an ARC Linkage grant (SUSTAIN), that is analysing policy interventions to promote healthy and sustainable food systems.
He is a Chief Investigator at the National Health and Medical Research Council Centre for Research Excellence in Obesity Policy and Food Systems.
• World Public Health Nutrition Association (previous Secretary General)
• Public Health Association of Australia (previous Convenor of Food and Nutrition Special Interest Group)
• Nutrition Society of Australia
• Dietitians Association of Australia
• Australian Public Health Nutrition Academic Collaboration
Public health nutrition
Food and nutrition Policy
Critical analysis of policy-making
Healthy and sustainable diets
Nutrient reference values
Unit Chair HSN706 Food Policy and Public Health
Currently supervises 2 Honours and 6 PhD students
Public health nutrition
Healthy and sustainable diets
Nutrient reference values
Professor Lawrence is a regular presenter at national and international conferences. In 2015 he presented at the following conferences:
Invited chair and speaker, ‘National forum: Creating a healthy and sustainable food system for Australia’, Regulatory Institutions Network and the Research School of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University, 24 September 2015, Canberra
Invited speaker, ‘Moving forward – reforming evidence use in nutrition’, Bias in Research Node Meeting: Challenges to using the best evidence for nutrition policy, University of Sydney, 20 November 2015, Sydney
Speaker, ‘Improving nutrition evidence for nutrition policy: the Cochrane Collaboration commitment’, 4th Annual NHMRC Symposium on Research Translation, 27-28 October 2015, Sydney
Invited speaker, ‘Formulating policy activities to promote healthy and sustainable diets’, International Health Policy Program Office, Ministry of Public Health, 19 October 2015, Bangkok
Invited speaker (Plenary session), ‘Reforming evidence-informed practice in public health nutrition policy and practice’, 23rd Annual Cochrane Colloquium 2015, 1 - 6 October 2015, Vienna
Invited speaker and symposium chair (A Symposium on Nutrition and Evidence for Policy and Practice), ‘Revisiting concepts for evidence use for nutrition policy’, 23rd Annual Cochrane Colloquium 2015, 1 - 6 October 2015, Vienna
Invited speaker, Rethinking evidence use for food and nutrition policy, Food Research Collaboration, City University, 30 September 2015, London
Speaker, ‘An evidence-informed policy plan for food system change to promote healthy and sustainable diets’, Population Health Congress 2015, 6-9 September, 2015, Hobart
Invited speaker, Food policy and regulation - implications for rural and regional communities, Building a Local Food Future Forum, Healthy Together Victoria, 1 May 2015, Wodonga
Regular media appearances
2014 British Medical Association Book Awards, ‘Food fortification: The evidence, ethics, and politics of adding nutrients to food’, ‘highly commended’ in the ‘Health and Social Care’ category
2014 Adjunct Professor, Curtin University
2014 Honorary Fellow, Centre for Food Policy, City University London
2012 Co-presenter, Best research report award, World Nutrition2012, Rio, Brazil
2009 Victorian Healthcare Awards: Premier’s Excellence Award (‘Tackling chronic disease and improving public health’ category). WHO Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention: Highly Commended.
1997 NHMRC, Public Health and Research Development Committee Scholarship (PhD candidature: 1997 - 2000)
1996 Invited Chair, Working Party: Health and Nutrition Claims, Codex Committee on Food Labelling, Ottawa
1995 National Food Authority Development Award 1995 – 1996 (work placements at the US Food and Drug Administration and UK Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food)
1991 Course Distinction (M.Sc, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)
1990 VicHealth Inaugural Public Health Fellowship (1990-1993)
• Panel member, NHMRC Targeted Call for Research into Engaging and Retaining Young Adults in Interventions to Improve Eating Behaviours and Health Outcomes (Preventing Obesity in 18-24 year olds TCR) (2015 – )
• Member of Advisory Group, DIET@NET (DIETary Assessment Tool NETwork) project, University of Leeds (aims to develop the Nutritools.org website that will host expert-rated, online dietary assessment tools as well as guidance on best practice for collection and analysis of dietary data) (2015 – )
• Representative of Deakin University Faculty of Health, on the peer review panel for the Australian Research Council (ARC) System to Evaluate the Excellence of Research (SEER) which supports the submission, evaluation and administration workflows of the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) initiative (2015)
• Member of the VicHealth Obesity Expert Steering Group (2015 – )
• Member, VicHealth Victorian Salt Reduction Strategic Partnership (2015 - )
• Member of Advisory Committee, review of the Nutrient Reference Values, Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing and New Zealand Ministry of Health (2013 – 15).
• Member, NHMRC Research Translation Faculty (2013 – current)
• Member, FSANZ Consumer and Public Health Dialogue (2010 - current).
• Secretary General, World Public Health Nutrition Association (2008 – 2010).
• Member, NHMRC Dietary Guidelines Working Committee (2008 – 2013).
• Member, expert roster EU project Prevention of Obesity in Europe – Consortium for the prevention of obesity through effective nutrition and physical activity actions (EURO-PREVOB), (2008 – 2010).
• Member, the Nutrition Society Australia Registration Committee (2007 - 2015).
• Member, Food Safety Council, Health Department Victoria (2007 – 2010).
• Member, Australian Public Health Nutrition Academic Collaboration (2002 – current).
Codex Alimentarius Commission involvement
• Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses, Bonn, 1995 – 1997 (led the Australian delegation)
• Codex Committee on Food Export and Import Inspection and Certification Systems, Canberra, 1995
• Codex Committee on Food Labelling, Ottawa, 1996 (member of the Australian delegation)
Editorial board membership
• Principal editor, Public Health Nutrition themed issue on ‘Sustainability and public health nutrition’ (2015)
• Associate Editor, Frontiers in Nutrition and Environmental Sustainability (2014 – current)
• Member, Editorial board, BMC Public Health (2012 - 15)
• Member, Editorial Board, Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism (2006 – 11)
• Member, Editorial Board, Public Health Nutrition (2008 – 15)