McMaster University

MAC-Obesity
Metabolism and Childhood Obesity

Scope of Search

Greg Steinberg and Katherine Morrison

People

In keeping with the interdisciplinary nature of the MAC-Obesity program, members are from multiple departments across the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster including Pediatrics, Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynecology. Brief bios introducing our members are found below.

 

 

Sonia Anand

Eli Lilly Canada-May Cohen Chair in Women's Health
Michael DeGroote Heart and Stroke Chair in Population Health and Epidemiology

Professor
Department of Medicine

Sonia Anand's current research is investigating the causes of cardiovascular disease among ethnic groups, population genetics, and women's cardiovascular health.

Sonia Anand's web page

Sonia Anand's Publications

Sonia Anand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Karen Bailey

Associate Professor
Pediatric General Surgery

Karen Bailey’s research interests include childhood obesity, bariatrics, global health, trauma and intestinal motility.

Karen Bailey's web page

Karen Bailey's Publications

Karen Bailey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Ereny Bassilious

Assistant Professor
Department of Pediatrics

Ereny Bassilious academic interests are in medical education research, particularly in interprofessional education and technology enhanced patient education. Her current study examines the role of numeracy in diabetes management for teens with type 1 diabetes and the effect of an innovative video game intervention on numeracy skills. Dr. Bassilious has an academic and clinical interest in pediatric obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Ereny Bassilious' web page

Ereny Bassilious' Publications

Ereny Bassilious

 


Russell de Souza

Assistant Professor
Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact

Dr. de Souza is a registered dietitian and nutrition epidemiologist. His current research interests lie in advancing methodology for systematic reviews and meta-analysis and clinical trials in the field of nutrition, with an interest in the contribution of dietary patterns and macronutrients (specifically fructose, saturated and trans fats) to cardiovascular disease risk throughout the lifespan. He is a co-investigator on the INMD-funded Birth Cohort Alliance, which seeks to explore associations among maternal nutrition, infant feeding patterns, and epigenetic/epigenomic determinants of maternal and child health; and the Alliance for Health Hearts and Minds cohort examining neighborhood-level factors that contribute to cardiovascular risk. He is also interested in the reproducibility and validity of current methods of assessing nutrient intakes.

Russell de Souza's web page

Russell de Souza's Publications

Russell de Souza

 

 


Hertzel Gerstein

Professor
Department of Medicine, Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Senior Advisor, MAC-Obesity

Dr. Hertzel C. Gerstein, an endocrinologist and professor at McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences, holds the Population Health Institute Chair in Diabetes Research. He is also Director of the Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism, Director of the Diabetes Care and Research Program and Deputy Director of the Population Health Research Institute.

Hertzel Gerstein's web page

Hertzel Gerstein's Publications

Hertzel Gerstein

 


Martin Gibala

Professor, Chair
Department of Kinesiology

Dr. Gibala’s research examines the regulation of skeletal muscle energy provision. He is particularly interested in the potential for exercise and/or nutrition to induce metabolic adaptations at the molecular and cellular levels in humans. In addition to basic, mechanistic studies, he has also conducted applied research that examines the impact of exercise training and dietary manipulation on sport performance. Recent work in his laboratory has focused on two main areas: 1) Metabolic adaptations to low-volume, high-intensity interval training, with an emphasis on the regulation of oxidative energy provision and 2) The potential for alterations in nutrient availability to impact the acute or chronic adaptations to exercise training.

Martin Gibala's web page

Martin Gibala's Publications

Martin Gibala

 


Alison Holloway

Associate Professor
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Division of Reproductive Biology

Alison Holloway's research interests focus on the fetal origins of adult diseases including type 2 diabetes, obesity and infertility. Specifically Dr. Holloway is interested in the link between in utero exposures to environmental toxicants and postnatal health and the effects of smoking on fetal and neonatal health.

Alison Holloway's web page

Alison Holloway's Publications

Alison Holloway

 


Thomas Hawke

Associate Professor
Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine

Our research focus is on the impact of disease states, such as obesity and diabetes mellitus on the health of skeletal muscle and it resident stem cell population (i.e. the muscle satellite cells). Given that skeletal muscle is our largest metabolic organ, changes to the health of skeletal muscle in disease (particularly metabolic diseases) can significantly impact the onset and progression of diabetes and its associated complications.

Hawke Lab website

Thomas Hawke's web page

Thomas Hawke's Publications

Thomas Hawke

 


Waliul Khan

Professor
Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine

Mucosal injury and inflammation in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is associated with activation of immune system and alteration in the intestinal physiology which includes changes in motility, mucus production and neuro-endocrine function. Using the model of enteric nematode infection Dr. Khan research involves studies to elucidate the immunological basis of altered intestinal physiology and pathophysiology specifically the roles T cell subsets, cytokines, and chemokines in regulation of intestinal goblet and enteroendocrine cells biology, and intestinal muscle function in the context of GI infection/inflammation in relation to host defense. In addition, his research also includes investigations on immunological strategies to modulate intestinal inflammation in experimental colitis model.

Waliul Khan's web page

Waliul Khan's Publications

Waliul Khan

 


Sarah McDonald

Associate Professor
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Dr. McDonald is an Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, at McMaster University. Her research interests focus on maternal weight and weight gain during pregnancy with a goal of helping women improve their health and the health of their children.

Sarah McDonald's web page

Sarah McDonald's Publications

Katherine Morrison

 


David Meyre

Associate Professor
Department of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics

David Meyre completed a PhD in quantitative plant genetics in France. Since 2001, he is working on the elucidation of the genetic bases of obesity and type 2 diabetes. His current research interests include 1) the identification of novel susceptibility genes using high-throughput sequencing / genotyping approaches in populations representative of the worldwide ethnic background 2) a better understanding of the physiological and molecular mechanisms underlying the development of metabolic diseases 3) the interactions between genes and specific environmental exposures 4) the usefulness of genetic information in clinical applications (prevention and care).

David Meyre's web page

David Meyre's Publications

David Meyre


Katherine Morrison

Associate Professor
Department of Pediatrics

Co-director, MAC-Obesity (Metabolism And Childhood Obesity Research Program)

Dr. Katherine Morrison is a pediatric endocrinologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at McMaster University. Her clinical and research interests relate to the determinants, adverse health consequences and treatment of childhood obesity and lipid disorders in children.

Katherine Morrison's web page

Katherine Morrison's Publications

Katherine Morrison

 


Nikhil Pai

Assistant Professor
Department of Pediatrics, Division of Gastroenterology & Nutrition

Dr. Pai’s research focuses on the contribution of the intestinal microbiome to immune dysregulation, energy metabolism, and autoimmune disease. He conducted his postdoctoral research work through the Obesity, Metabolism and Nutrition Institute (OMNI) at Massachusetts General Hospital, under the supervision of Drs. Lee Kaplan MD PhD (Department of Gastroenterology, Harvard Medical School) and Peter Turnbaugh PhD (Department of Systems Biology, Harvard University). He is an Associate Member of the Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute. Dr. Pai has received research support through the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation, Canadian Obesity Network, and the Hamilton Health Sciences New Investigator Fund. He is principal investigator of thePedi FeTChTrial (PediatricFecal microbialTransplant in ulcerativeColitis), and actively supervises gastroenterology clinical research trainees.

Nikhil Pai's web page

Nikhil Pai's Publications

Nikhil Pai

 


Stuart Phillips

Professor
Department of Kinesiology

Director, Physical Activity Centre of Excellence (PACE)

Director, McMaster Centre for Nutrition, Exercise and Health Research

Professor Phillips is a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Skeletal Muscle Health. In addition to being a full Professor in Kinesiology, he is also an Adjunct Professor in the School of Medicine at McMaster University. He is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American College of Nutrition (ACN). His research is focused on the impact of nutrition and exercise on human skeletal muscle protein turnover. He is also keenly interested in diet- and exercise-induced changes in body composition. His research is funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, the National Science and Engineering Council of Canada, the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, and the Canadian Foundation for Innovation as well as the USDA. He has received more than $2.4 million in research funding in the last 3 years. Dr. Phillips was the recipient of a New Investigator Award from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research and the Ontario Premier's Research Excellence Award and in 2003 received the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology Young Investigator Award. He currently has more than 18000 career citations, and 200 original scientific research and review papers.

Stuart Phillips' web page

Stuart Phillips' Publications

Stuart Phillips

 


Zubin Punthakee

MD, FRCPC, ABIM

Associate Professor
Department of Medicine and Department of Pediatrics
Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism

Coordinator
Metabolism and Nutrition Division, Medical Sciences Graduate Program

Dr. Punthakee is a clinician researcher in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism. He conducts adult, pediatric and transition endocrine and diabetes clinics. He is certified in internal medicine and endocrinology by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the American Board of Internal Medicine and the Quebec College of Physicians.

Zubin Punthakee's web page

Zubin Punthakee's Publications

Zubin Punthakee


Sandeep Raha

Associate Professor
Department of Pediatrics

Coordinator
Metabolism and Nutrition Division, Medical Sciences Graduate Program

Obesity is one of the most significant health care issues of the 21st century because it increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and hypertension. Obesity related dysfunction can potentially be initiated in utero. Children of obese mothers are at a higher risk of becoming obese and developing these risk factors later in life and this serves to further fuel the obesity epidemic.The environment of the fetus, in the womb, may contribute to the child being predisposed towards developing obesity related disorders as a result of metabolic reprogramming. Mitochondria are one of the central players in cellular metabolisms. They have been classically thought of as oval-shaped organelles responsible for generating ATP and supplying the cells energy demands. They are so much more!

My lab focuses on understanding the role of mitochondrial function/dysfunction in modulating uterine stress as a consequence of maternal obesity. We focus on how physiological stressors affect mitochondrial function and one of their primary by-products, reactive oxygen species. We are interested in understanding the role of mitochondria in contributing to fetal stress in the obese mother. Furthermore, we also focus on how in utero stress can affect mitochondrial function and signaling in dictating fetal and neonatal health of obese mothers. We utilize cell culture and animal models to understand these processes and develop therapeutic strategies to minimize the consequences of maternal obesity on neonatal health.

Sandeep Raha's web page

Sandeep Raha's Publications

Sandeep Raha

 


Constantine Samaan

Assistant Professor
Department of Pediatrics Division of Endocrinology

Dr. Samaan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, McMaster University and Staff Pediatric Edocrinologist at McMaster Children’s Hospital, Hamilton, Ontario.

Dr. Samaan's overarching research program is in translational pediatric immunometabolism with focus on childhood obesity and inflammation. Dr. Samaan’s research uses animal models and human cohorts to understand the mechanisms involved in the development of inflammation in obesity, and how this leads to development of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. The aim of his research is to define and test interventions that help in treating and ultimately preventing obesity and its complications.

Constantine Samaan's web page

Constantine Samaan's Publications

Constantine Samaan

 


Jonathan Schertzer

Assistant Professor
Biochemistry & Biomedical Sciences

The inability to respond to insulin is the major cause of type 2 diabetes. This “insulin resistance” precedes overt diabetes thereby providing therapeutic window to prevent the disease. Obesity is the main cause of insulin resistance and inflammation has emerged as a key link between obesity and insulin resistance. How does obesity cause inflammation and how does inflammation cause insulin resistance leading to diabetes? My laboratory is interested in understanding these problems in “ImmunoMetabolism” and how dietary and bacterial factors connect immunology and metabolism.

Jonathan Schertzer's web page

Jonathan Schertzer's Publications

Jonathan Schertzer



Deborah Sloboda

Associate Professor
Biochemistry & Biomedical Sciences

Dr Sloboda's laboratory investigates the impact of poor maternal nutrition on the developing fetus and how it influences the risk of non-communicable disease later in life. Her experimental studies investigate the effects of maternal nutrient manipulation combined with a changing postnatal diet on pubertal onset, ovarian development and maturation, metabolic function and the role of underlying epigenetic processes. Dr Sloboda's laboratory seeks to understand the relationship between maternal nutrition and offspring phenotype, investigating how maternal nutritional history influences placental development and how altered placental development and function contributes to altered offspring phenotype. Her recent work has expanded to include circadian biology and the understanding of how the intrauterine environment influences circadian regulation in the offspring.

Deborah Sloboda's web page

Deborah Sloboda's Publications

Deborah Sloboda


Gregory Steinberg

Professor
Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Medicine

Canada Research Chair in Metabolism & Obesity and J. Bruce Duncan Chair in Metabolic Diseases

Co-director, MAC-Obesity (Metabolism And Childhood Obesity Research Program)

Our laboratories main interest involves studying how obesity, nutrition and exercise influence health with a major focus on inflammation and lipid metabolism. For the past several years a major area of focus in the laboratory has been around the metabolic sensor AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK).

Gregory Steinberg's web page

Gregory Steinberg's Publications

Greg Steinberg

 


Michael Surette

Professor
Medicine and Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences

Principal Investigator
Farncombe Family Digestive Research Institute

Michael Surette's Laboratory's primary area of research investigates the role of normal flora-pathogen interactions in health and disease in the area of respiratory infections with a focus in cystic fibrosis. A polymicrobial perspective on these infections has lead to identification of overlooked pathogens in airway disease as well as synergistic interactions between avirulent organisms and pathogens. This is a fundamentally different view of airway infections and has lead to direct benefits to patients through altered treatment strategies.

Michael Surette's web page

Michael Surette's Publications

m surette

 


Mark Tarnopolsky

Professor
Division of Neurology, Department of Pediatrics

Head
Neuromuscular & Neurometabolic Disease

In addition to a very busy clinical practice in neuromuscular and neurometabolic disease, Mark Tarnopolsky’s laboratory publishes approximately 25 papers per year looking at mitochondrial and muscle function in patients, aging and in animal models of pediatric and adult neuromuscular and neurometabolic diseases. His clinical research focuses predominately on therapies for mitochondrial cytopathies; however, his group is also involved in clinical trials in Duchenne muscular dystrophy, Friedreich's ataxia and Pompe disease.

Mark Tarnopolsky's web page

Mark Tarnopolsky's Publications

Mark Tarnopolsky


Brian Timmons

Assistant Professor
Department of Pediatrics

Our unique facility has the capacity to address a variety of research questions relevant to child health ranging from optimizing clinical exercise testing in children with a disease or disability to unravelling the molecular mechanisms that translate physical activity into optimal growth and development. Brian Timmons’ approach is to combine basic science techniques with clinical research trials to facilitate the translation of physiological principles into clinical applications. Ongoing projects are investigating the impact of exercise on inflammation in children with a chronic inflammatory disease; the development of an in vitro model of skeletal muscle adaptation; growth-related changes in energy metabolism during exercise using stable isotope tracers; and children's exercise responses in different environmental conditions.

Brian Timmons' web page

Brian Timmon's Publications

Brian Timmons


Gita Wahi

Assistant Professor
Department of Pediatrics

Dr. Wahi is a general pediatrician and assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at McMaster University. Her research interests are focused on population determinants for childhood obesity, pediatric health in new immigrants to Canada and the management of pediatric obesity.

Gita Wahi's Publications

Gita Wahi

 

Sonia Anand

Sonia Anand

Eli Lilly Cana

Sonia Anand

da-May Cohen Chair in Women's Health
Michael DeGroote Heart and Stroke Chair in Population Health and Epidemiology

Professor
Department of Medicine

Sonia Anand's current research is investigating the causes of cardiovascular disease among ethnic groups, population genetics, and women's cardiovascular health.

Sonia Anand's web page

Sonia Anand's Publications