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    Canada Research Chair

  • Heather Armstrong portrait.
  • Assistant professor

    Max Rady College of Medicine
    Internal Medicine
    Room 808, John Buhler Research Centre
    715 McDermot Avenue
    University of Manitoba
    Winnipeg, Manitoba R3E 3P4

    Phone: 204-789-3815
    Email: heather.armstrong@umanitoba.ca

Cross appointments

University of Manitoba cross appointments:

Research achievements

Research summary

Dr. Heather Armstrong is an accomplished researcher working at the intersection of gut health and chronic diseases. Her research specifically focuses on understanding the underlying mechanisms of diet-associated inflammation in inflammatory diseases, such as Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD), Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), which are mediated by gut microbes. Dr. Armstrong's work has helped to identify the unique ways that gut dysbiosis in IBD leads to increased inflammation in select patients. Through her research, she aims to unravel the complex interactions between gut microbes, diet, and inflammation to better understand the pathology of these diseases and how they are linked to cancer. Her team utilizes cutting-edge translational models of microbiome and human biopsy tissues to investigate these interactions and to explore new strategies for personalized medicine. Dr. Armstrong's research is not only advancing our understanding of these debilitating diseases but also has the potential to improve the lives of millions of people affected by them.

Research themes

  • Autoimmune disease
  • Cancer
  • Diet
  • Epithelial barrier
  • Fermentation
  • Immunology
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Microbiome
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

Research groups

  •  Manitoba Centre for Proteomics and Systems Biology
  •  Manitoba IBD Clinical and Research Centre
  •  Manitoba Multiple Sclerosis Research Centre (MMSRC)
  •  The Canadian Children Inflammatory Bowel Disease Network (CIDsCaNN)

Research affiliations


Dr. Heather Armstrong is an accomplished assistant professor of internal medicine with the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba, and a research scientist with the Children's Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba (CHRIM). She is also a research scientist with the Manitoba Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Clinical and Research Centre and a founding member of the Manitoba Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Research Centre. Her past positions include an instructor role at the University of Alberta School of Medicine and Dentistry. Dr. Armstrong is dedicated to mentoring and supporting young scientists who are interested in learning more about complex co-culture techniques for use in translational research approaches to personalized medicine. She is involved in several national and international multi-disciplinary teams where she utilizes her translational models of microbiome and human biopsy tissues to better understand the pathology of diseases of dysbiosis, such as IBD, MS, and Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), and their relationship to cancer.


Doctorate of Medicine and of Philosophy (PhD-MED), Medicine, University of Adelaide, Australia (2016)

Masters in Science, (MSc) cell biology, University of Alberta (2012)

Bachelor of Science (BSc), biological sciences major with science psychology minor, University at Alberta (2010)

  • Academic research awards


    • IMPACTT Microbiome Mentee – Dr Elena Verdu Mentor (McMaster University)


    • Editor’s Choice Publication – Cancers Journal
    • Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) Postdoctoral Fellowship ($90,000)


    • Mitacs Elevate Postdoctoral Fellowship ($60,000)


    • Honourable Mention – Canadian Association of Gastroenterology (CAG) and Crohn’s and Colitis Canada (CCC)
    • Student prize ($500)
    • Canadian Association of Gastroenterology Travel Award ($1,500)
    • Women’s and Children’s Health Research Institute (WCHRI) Travel Award ($750)


    • Discipline of Medicine Travel Grant ($3,000)


    • Australian Postgraduate Award ($75,000)
    • Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men’s Health Scholarship ($15,000)


    • Government of Alberta ALIS Graduate Student Scholarship ($1,500)
  • Conference awards


    • Poster of Distinction – Canadian Digestive Disease Week


    • Best Oral Presentation – Pediatric Research Day ($125)
    • Poster of Distinction – Canadian Digestive Disease Week


    • Poster of Distinction – The North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
    • Best Oral Presentation – Postdoctoral Fellows Association Day ($500)
    • Best Oral Presentation – Canadian Digestive Disease Week ($500)


    • Best Oral Presentation – Postdoctoral Fellows Association Day ($375)
    • Best Oral Presentation – University of Alberta Department of Pediatrics Research Day ($150)

Dr. Heather Armstrong In the news

Contact us

Internal Medicine
Room GC430, Health Sciences Centre
820 Sherbrook Street
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB R3A 1R9 Canada