Associate Professor of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph

When I finished my undergraduate degree, I was offered an exciting opportunity to spend 6 months at the Nestlé Research Centre in Switzerland. And I found out that Nestlé does far more than just make good chocolate! Nestlé introduced me to the field of nutrigenomics. This area of research examines how the foods we eat interact with our genes to affect our health. Working in this fascinating area allowed me to integrate various scientific disciplines into my research, ranging from nutritional biochemistry and molecular biology to genomics and bioinformatics. My initial 6 month position with Nestlé ended up becoming a 6 year stay, during which I completed my PhD in association with the University of Lausanne. After finishing my PhD, I moved to The Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, USA for a short post-doctoral position and then to the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM) in Paris, France for a second post-doctoral position. During my post-doctoral research I explored diet-gene interactions in the context of obesity. This proved both timely and highly relevant given the high prevalence of obesity. Obesity is a complex disease that is highly influenced by an individual’s lifestyle habits (e.g., diet and exercise). Importantly, each of these habits influences our genes and, ultimately, our health. In 2009, I joined the Department of Human Health & Nutritional Sciences to establish a nutrigenomics research program to study how dietary fats regulate gene expression in metabolic tissues, and how this contributes to the development of obesity-related complications.

Experience

  • –present
    Associate Professor of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph