McMaster University

McMaster University

Dr. Katherine Morrison, Department of Pediatrics, McMaster University, MAC-Obesity

Dr. Katherine Morrison

Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics
Co-director, MAC-Obesity (Metabolism and Childhood Obesity Research Program)

1280 Main Street W., HSC-3A
Hamilton, ON L8S 4K1
Phone: 905-521-2100 Ext. 75702
Fax: 905-308-7548

Research Theme

  • Primary Research: CV risk factors in youth, obesity, metabolism

Key words

Obesity, cardiometabolic health, adiposity, lipid disorders, clinical practice guideline

Research Program Overview

One third of Canadian children are obese or overweight, and obesity rates have tripled in the last 3 decades. A recent Health Canada report on the health of the nation’s children highlighted childhood obesity as a major issue – reminding us that we are doing a poor job to date as Canada ranks 27 of 29 OECD nations on the childhood obesity issue. In our clinical population at MCH, 20% of children have prediabetes and 70% have at least one cardiovascular factor for conditions expected to negatively influence their health across the lifespan.

My research program has 3 main areas of focus: epidemiological research to examine the population, family and individual level determinants that influence adiposity and cardiovascular risk factors across the childhood lifespan; clinical studies to improve the care of children with health consequences related to obesity; and knowledge translation work through the development and dissemination of clinical practice guidelines for the prevention and management of obesity in youth.  

Current Projects

  • MAC Obesity
  • CANPWR – Canadian Pediatric Weight Management Registry.  A multicentre pilot study including 5 sites in Canada to enroll all families entering pediatric weight management programs.  To evaluate health consequences at baseline and examine changes over time and the factors that influence outcome.
  • Clinical Studies - To improve the care of children with obesity-related health consequences (CANPWR, ehealth) and genetic disorders of lipid metabolism.
  • Cohort Studies - Baby & Mi, FINCAN, FAMILY
  • Pre-Clinical Collaboration - Valued collaboration with colleagues
  • Knowledge Synthesis - Several projects synthesyzing scientific literature in areas related to cardiometabolic health

*Advance our understanding of the biological and environmental influences on the development of cardiometabolic health.*

Funding Projects

  • eHealth – examining how we can utilize technology to improve the clinical care we deliver to families interested in improving their cardiovascular health
  • Baby & Mi - coPi with Eileen Hutton (Midwifery)
    Evaluating changes in the gut microbiome in infancy and the factors that influence them.
    Longitudinal study to examine the relationship of the gut microbiome to adiposity in toddlers
  • FINCAN - examining cardiometabolic health in adults born with extreme prematurity (followed since early childhood by Dr. Saroj Saigal). Unravelling the mechanism underlying these health challenges.
  • MAC Obesity - BAT Translational Studies (Co-Director with Dr. Gregory Steinberg (Medicine))
    Working in collaboration with pre-clinical colleagues to study the influence of brown adipose tissue on cardiometabolic health in humans, in animal models and in vitro.

Publications & Achievements

Dr. Morrison's research is frequently published in peer-reviewed publications in leading journals. A comprehensive list of publications is available on Google Scholar.

Highlights Include:

  • Morrison KM, Atkinson S, Teo KK. Fetal Origins of Cornonary Artery Disease in Evidence Based Cardiology 3rd Edition, Editors: S Yusuf, J Cairns, J Camm, E Fallen, B Gersh.  Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Oxford, UK. 2010.
  • Akhtar-Danesh N, Dehghan M, Morrison KM, Fonseka S. Parents’ perception and attitude on childhood obesity: A Q-methodology study. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practioners, In Press, 2010.
  • Morrison KM, Dyal L, Conner W, Helden E, Newkirk L, Yusuf S, Lonn E. Cardiovascular risk factors and non-invasive assessment of subclinical atherosclerosis in youth. Atherosclerosis, 208(2): 501-05, 2010.
  • Morrison KM, Atkinson SA, Yusuf S, Bourgeois J, McDonald S, Persadie R, Hunter B, Pogue J, Teo K and the FAMILY Investigators. The Family Atherosclerosis Monitoring In EarLY Life (FAMILY) Study:  Rationale, design and baseline data of a study examining the early determinants of atherosclerosis. American Heart Journal, 158(4); 533-9, 2009.
  • Rahalkar AR, Giffen F, Har B, Ho J, Morrison KM, Hill J, Wang J, Hegele R, and Joy T. Novel LPL mutations associated with lipoprotein lipase deficiency: Two case reports and a literature review.  Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology. 87: 151-160, 2009.
  • Bruin J, Petre M, Raha S, Morrison KM, Gerstein H, Holloway A. Fetal and neonatal nicotine exposure in Wistar rats causes progressive pancreatic mitochondrial damage and beta cell dysfunction. PLoSONE 3(10):e3371, 2008.

Secondary Contact

Denise Wedge

Research Office

Elizabeth Gunn, Research Coordinator, MAC-Obesity
Phone: 905-521-2100 x 21407 or 28083

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