Professor, Department of Human Nutritional Sciences
Professor, Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology
Chair, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolic Disorders
Staff Scientist, Molecular Physiology Laboratory
Our research is focused on understanding how metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes lead to vascular disease. This is a critical area to study, since the primary cause of death for persons with these conditions is typically heart attack as a result of atherosclerosis. Thus, the blood vessels are key targets being affected by changes in metabolic homeostasis. Our laboratory has been employing a number of animal models and human studies in conjunction with various cell and molecular biology techniques to identify the underlying mechanisms responsible for the pathophysiological changes resulting from obesity and diabetes. From our research, we have obtained considerable physiological data regarding the functioning of the key tissues responsible for regulating body metabolism and we have concurrently acquired data regarding the functional status of the blood vessels that is capable of detecting presymptomatic disease. As part of this research, we have collected samples of both DNA and RNA in order to examine the genetic and genomic linkages that exist between these various parameters. Since most of our studies are related to diet, and include a number of dietary interventions, we are ideally suited to examine the contribution of epigenetics within this context. An area which would be novel would be an examination of the genetic factors that influence vascular functions such as blood pressure, arterial stiffness and endothelial function, either within a healthy population or one with established cardiovascular and/or metabolic disease.
R2005 St Boniface Hospital Research Center