April 11, 2023 —
Two studies led by UM researchers in the Department of Food and Human Nutritional Sciences have received over $1.5 million in funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). This funding will support innovative research in cardiovascular disease prevention and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD).
“I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to Dr. Carla Taylor and Dr. Miyoung Suh for receiving funding to advance innovative research in food and human nutritional sciences,” said Dr. B. Mario Pinto (Vice-President, Research and International) at the University of Manitoba. “These projects will support research excellence here at UM and improve the lives of Canadians for generations to come.”
Dr. Carla Taylor, PhD
Project: Sex-Specific Targeting of Fish Oil for Decreasing Cardiovascular Disease
Dr. Carla Taylor, a Professor with the Department of Food and Human Nutritional Sciences and Principal Investigator at the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre, has been selected to receive over $1 million over five years to study the impacts of fish oil on human heart health.
This funding will advance research into the benefits of fish oil in women versus men and its potential role in decreasing rates of cardiovascular disease. This UM-led clinical study will observe men and women over a three-month period to evaluate the impacts of fish oil supplementation and its role in promoting good cardiovascular health. This innovative research may lead to developing new solutions for cardiovascular disease prevention and treatment to support those at high risk.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to examine how post-menopausal women lose their protection against cardiovascular disease, thus becoming as susceptible as men, and to evaluate the possible utility of fish oil as a means of restoring that protection,” said Dr. Taylor. “We hope this research will benefit both women and men by reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.”
Co-Investigators: Harold M Aukema (FHNS) and Peter Zahradka (Physiology and Pathophysiology)
Dr. Miyoung Suh, RD, PhD
Project: Perinatal nutrition strategy with omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid to protect brain in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders
Dr. Miyoung Suh, a Professor in the Department of Food and Human Nutritional Sciences at the University of Manitoba and a Principal Investigator at the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre, has been selected to receive $566,000 over 5 years to study prenatal nutrition to prevent or treat FASD.
This innovative research will investigate the impacts of prenatal nutrition intervention strategies, including omega-3 fatty acids, to mitigate the impacts of alcohol-induced brain inflammation and prevent or treat cases of FASD.
“We are pleased to have the opportunity to tackle FASD via neuroprotective nutrient treatments during pregnancy, which is a critical time window for brain development,” said Dr. Suh. “We want to provide scientific evidence on how preventative or therapeutic maternal nutrition strategies, such as DHA supplementation, may enhance the health of mothers and fetuses who are at risk of having FASD, since there is no cure once the infants are born.”
Co-investigators: Michel Aliani (FHNS), Benedict C. Albensi (Pharmacology), Hyo-Jick Choi (Alberta)