Lab Group

Graduate Students
Jingjie Xiao

Jingjie Xiao is currently a third year PhD student at Dr. Prado’s lab. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Food Quality and Safety in her home country of China. Afterwards, she pursued her Master of Science degree in Nutrition Science at Florida State University in USA. She has acquired substantial experience in research during her graduate studies. As a PhD student, she also mentors undergraduate students and Master’s students on research techniques. Likewise, she have mentored and trained health professionals with computerized tomography imaging method for body composition assessment throughout the world (National Institute of Cancer in Brazil, Catholic University of Pelotas in Brazil, and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in USA, Philipps-Universität Marburg in Germany). Her research interests involve but not limited to nutritional status, weight change and body composition change in clinical population, particularly cancer patients. Besides doing research and teaching, she spends time on traveling, reading, cooking western and traditional Chinese food with friends, and talking with friends from all over the world.

Sarah Purcell

Sarah is currently a second year PhD student of Dr. Prado's at the University of Alberta. She completed her Honors Bachelors of Science degree in Nutrition and Dietetics at Florida State University, where she also received numerous scholarships from the state of Florida and the university. After graduation, she continued on and received her Masters of Science in Clinical Nutrition at the same university, where she studied body composition, dietary intake, and functional status of patients with hip or knee osteoarthritis. Shortly thereafter, Sarah moved to Edmonton to complete her PhD in Nutrition and Metabolism. During her graduate studies, she has held and continues to hold various research and teaching assistantships, has presented many scientific posters, and is also involved in leadership roles in various student organizations. Her research interests include assessing the relationships between energy balance and body composition and the consequential impact on outcomes in cancer patients. In her spare time, Sarah loves to do anything that involves swimming, biking, or running and has completed dozens of races ranging in length from 5ks to marathons and half-ironman triathlons.

Leticia Pereira 

Leticia completed a nutrition degree and internship in Brazil. During her undergraduate she received two scholarships, and her outstanding academic performance was recognized by an honors degree. Leticia worked for four years as a consulting dietitian, establishing her professional credentials and increasing her experience and competence in the field. In 2012, she obtained a Master’s degree in Human Nutrition at the Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil. During her Master’s she received a prestigious Federal scholarship for two consecutive years.
After that, she moved to Canada to continue her career in academia as a PhD student at the University of Alberta. She has received four distinct awards and two scholarships. Leticia Pereira's research will further advance our understanding of energy metabolism among contemporary postpartum women, and will increase our knowledge of factors contributing to postpartum weight retention. Her research uses state-of-the-art equipment (the whole-body calorimetry unit) that precisely measures energy expenditure. Strategies aimed at the prevention and mitigation of obesity and related chronic diseases will have vast ramifications for improving the quality of life for people, and ultimately, address the growing financial burden of obesity.

Camila Pinto
Camila completed a nutrition degree and internship in Brazil. She is also a registered dietitian in her home country. Since her undergraduation she is passionate about nutrition and exercise, which conducted her to specialize in Nutrition Applied to Physical Exercise in Sao Paulo University. In 2015, she received her Masters of Science in Nutrition and Health at the Federal University of Goias, where she studied the effect of nutritional supplementation and physical exercise in the elderly and received a State scholarship for two consecutive years. Following her passion, Camila is currently a first year PhD student in Nutrition and Metabolism at Dr. Prado’s lab. Her research aims to evaluate the effect of a meal replacement product on energy expenditure during rest and physical exercise, appetite sensations and blood markers. Besides that, Camila loves animals, parties, spending time with her family and friends, travelling, eating and playing sports.

Maha Alsaif

Maha Alsaif is a PhD student working with both Drs. Prado and Andrea Haqq at the University of Alberta. She completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Human Nutritional Sciences and Dietetics Internship at (Al-Iman General Hospital) in Saudi Arabia. Based on the success she achieved throughout her training period at Al-Iman General Hospital, she was offered a job by the Hospital where she worked as a Dietitian. She later moved to Canada to pursue her Master of Science degree in Human Nutritional Sciences at the University of Manitoba where she received the International Graduate Student Entrance Scholarship from the Faculty of Graduate Studies. She is also received an Academic Excellence awards from the King Saud University in Saudi Arabia. Due to her academic and professional excellence, she was granted a full funded scholarship from the Government of Saudi Arabia so, that she could continue her M.Sc and eventual PhD degrees. Her research aims are to understand the excessive weight gain in children with Prader-Willi-Syndrome. Besides studying, she loves traveling, listening to great music, skating and spending time with family and friends.
Claire Trottier 
Claire has a B. Sc. in Biological Sciences with a minor in Nutrition from the University of Alberta and graduated in 2014. She has previous experience in the field of research which started as volunteer work during her undergraduate degree preforming data entry for a study that was investigating maternal diet and nutrient intake during pregnancy. She later went on to work on a Canada wide study which aimed to identity the key factors that influence food and fluid intake of older adults living in long-term care facilities. Her background in science and thirst for knowledge has only reinforced her interest in working in the field of research.
As a Research Coordinator in Dr. Prado’s Lab, Claire is currently providing support for various research projects that are investigating energy expenditure and body composition in cancer.
In her spare time, Claire loves to do outdoor activities such as running and camping and swimming in the icey cold waters of Jasper National Park.

Extended Members
Dr. Sarah Elliott

After graduating from the University of Queensland in 2012 with a PhD in Nutrition, Sarah worked as a research assistant on different pediatric feeding and oncology projects before moving to Singapore to pursue a research fellowship focusing on women’s nutrition. After working there for a year, and taking in all the culinary delights South East Asia had on offer, she decided it was time for a change, and said goodbye to 100% humidity, and hello -40C! Sarah arrived in Canada last year to undertake a postdoc with Human Nutrition Research Unit.
Sarah is an active member of the research community and currently sits as vice president on the University of Alberta’s Postdoctoral Fellows Association, and the Cancer Research Institute of Northern America’s executive committees. Her dedication to continual learning throughout her PhD is highlighted by her understanding of the technical aspects of body composition and energy metabolism assessment coupled with her strategic placement in specialized laboratories.
Since her PhD, Sarah has sought to reinforce her long-term commitment to health science research and has developed a passion for interdisciplinary research focusing on the relationship between energy metabolism and body composition to health outcomes in different clinical cohorts.
When Sarah isn’t in her office, she’s either playing soccer or organizing social events for the lab!

Carlene Johnson-Stoklossa 

Carlene has a passion for lifelong learning and a love of travel. Her academic training started at the University of Western Ontario with a BA Psychology and a Diploma in Health Promotion and Education. She then travelled across the country to completing her BSc Dietetics and internship in Vancouver, BC before moving to Alberta. Carlene has gained 15 years of experience as a Registered Dietitian and is recognized as an expert in nutrition and obesity management. As the Provincial Adult Obesity Practice Lead- Nutrition Services and the dietitian member of the interdisciplinary Provincial Bariatric Resource Team with Alberta Health Services, she has been actively involved in setting best practice guidelines and supporting health care providers to develop their expertise and improve patient care. She has collaborated on several research papers, book chapters, and curriculum development. She is an experienced public speaker and has been invited to several nutrition, obesity and surgery conferences across Canada and the US. Her keen interest in body composition and energy metabolism has led her to pursue her M.Sc Nutrition with Dr. Carla Prado. She is very excited to be joining Dr. Prado’s lab and will begin her 2nd year as a full-time student in September 2015.