Diet & Obesity

Identifying the molecular mechanisms underlying sex differences in fat storage using Drosophila as a model

In Canada, metabolic diseases (e.g. cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity) are leading causes of death, disability, and hospitalization. Currently, more than 10 million Canadians suffer from metabolic disease, with direct and indirect costs to the economy estimated to be $20 billion each year. Approximately 40% more men than women suffer from metabolic disease. In addition, commonly prescribed drugs used to prevent and treat metabolic disease are more effective in one sex than the other (e.g. fenofibrates).

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Year: 
2017
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Optimizing lifestyle approaches for the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes

The rising incidence of type 2 diabetes (T2D) puts financial stress on health care systems in British Columbia and across the world. Lifestyle interventions can improve cardiometabolic health to prevent or treat T2D, but optimal lifestyle strategies (e.g. exercise intensity, type, timing; diet composition) are not well-defined and adherence is notoriously poor.

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Year: 
2017
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Exploring the mediating effect of parenting practices on the relationship between the neighbourhood environment and child physical activity

The neighbourhood environment has been found to affect the levels of physical activity among children. We are investigating the mediating effect of parenting practices on this relationship.

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Year: 
2015
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Do goblet cell mediators co-operatively prevent gut microbiota from causing spontaneous colitis?

Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are characterized by chronic intestinal inflammation and tissue damage. There are trillions of bacteria found  within the human intestine and IBDs are thought to develop when mucus barriers that normally keep these  bacteria inside the gastrointestinal tract become impaired,  allowing bacteria to escape out of the gut lumen and causing  chronic inflammation. While the role of epithelial cells in promoting barrier function is well known, the protective actions of the mucus barrier are relatively understudied.

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Year: 
2013

Mechanisms of cardiovascular disease in children with mental health conditions

Prescriptions of second-generation antipsychotic  (SGA) medication for children in British Columbia increased 22-fold from 1996 to 2010. These medications treat the underlying mental health issues (e.g. psychosis, depression, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder) but often come with side-effects, including metabolic syndrome.

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Award Type: 
Year: 
2013

Examining executive functions as mediators of a mental and social enrichment intervention for older adults with chronic stroke

Significant proportions of stroke survivors suffer long-term physical disability and are predisposed to sedentary lifestyles. This limits their performance of activities necessary for independent living in the community and contributes to increased risk for recurrent stroke and heart disease. Dr. John Best recognizes that intervention strategies are needed to motivate stroke survivors to engage in routine physical activity and to optimize their physical and motor functions.

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Year: 
2013
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Identification of a novel obesity gene

The prevalence of obesity is increasing dramatically, and is occuring at an increasing rate among children. Obesity is a major risk factor for numerous diseases including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, arthritis, and some forms of cancer. Inherited factors strongly affect an individual’s risk for becoming obese, especially in an environment with little exercise and diets high in fat and sugar. However, many of these genetic factors are not yet known.

Primary Investigator: 
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Year: 
2008
Health Category: 
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