Lab Group

Lead Lab Coordinator

Claire Trottier

Claire has a B. Sc. in Biological Sciences with a minor in Nutrition from the University of Alberta. She was first introduced to the field of research as a volunteer during her undergraduate degree where she performed data entry for a study investigating maternal diet and nutrient intake during pregnancy. She then went on to work for a Canada-wide study which aimed to identify the key factors that influence food and fluid intake of older adults living in long-term care facilities.

As the Lead Lab Coordinator, Claire provides research support to all of Dr. Prado's ongoing research endeavours, including research studies in cancer, obesity and healthy populations. Her work can be behind-the-scenes, face-to-face with study participants or with biological samples in the laboratory.

In her spare time, Claire loves to do outdoor activities such as running, camping and spending time with her labrador retriever.

Research Coordinators

Anne Caretero

Anne is a new alumni and dietitian from the University of Alberta. As a Research Coordinator, Anne supports the ongoing research at Dr. Carla Prado’s lab through administrative work, study recruitment, and data collection and processing. In her spare time, Anne loves to cook, go for a run, and spend time with her friends and family.

Dr. Michelle Mackenzie

Michelle completed her degrees in nutrition at the University of Saskatchewan, McGill and the University of Alberta. Since receiving her doctoral degree she has been active in research and teaching at the University of Alberta. She has been involved with nutrition research on protein and metabolism, regulation of appetite, energy balance and dietary intake. When not working, Michelle likes to wander outside, usually with a dog and occasionally running.

Research Assistants

Reena Duke

Taiwo Olobatuyi

Taiwo holds a Master of Public health in food safety from the University of Alberta. She has been involved in academic research from her home country, where she completed an MSc degree in food microbiology. Her project focused on assessing the impact of citric juice on the gut microbiome and other nutritional biomarkers. In her prior role at the University of Alberta, she analyzed computerized tomography images of breast cancer cohort, a gold-standard method used to assess body composition.

Presently, as a research assistant, she supports the principal investigator in a study assessing the contribution of the size and weight of the organs of COVID-19 survivors to the amount of energy they burn.

In her spare time, Taiwo loves to hang out with family and friends.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Dr. Ana Teresa Limon-Miro

Ana completed her Ph.D. in Sciences at the Research Center for Food and Development (CIAD) in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, her hometown-, where she is an experienced registered dietitian and diabetes educator. During the last years, her contributions published in scientific journals or presented at international conferences consist in sarcopenic obesity prevention in breast cancer patients during active cancer treatment, body composition assessment, and implementing food-based nutrition interventions using novel approaches to individualize dietary plans. She is an active member of several scientific societies focused on Nutrition and Dietetics and has received awards as an academic lecturer and researcher. Currently she is working as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Prado and Dr. Tandon at the University of Alberta in a trial evaluating a digital app to deliver a combined nutrition and exercise intervention for patients with cirrhosis, cancer, and chronic obstructive lung disease. Outside of academia, Ana enjoys running, travelling and going to the theatre and museums.

Dr. Camila Oliveira

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 third year PhD student in Nutrition and Metabolism at Dr. Prado’s lab. Her research aims to evaluate the effect of a high-protein diet on energy metabolism, appetite sensations and metabolic blood markers in healthy women. Besides that, Camila loves animals, parties, spending time with her family and friends, travelling, eating and playing sports.

Dr. Fuyong Li

Fuyong has been working as a postdoctoral fellow at University of Alberta since Sept 2017, supervised by Prof. Carla Prado and Prof. Jens Walter. He received his bachelor degree in Animal Science from Northwest A&F University (2005-2009; China). After that, he conducted his master program in Europe and obtained double-master degrees in Animal Breeding and Genetics from University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (2010-2011; Austria) and Wageningen University (2011-2012, the Netherlands). In 2012, he joined University of Alberta for his PhD program and then achieved his PhD degree in Animal Science in 2017.

Fuyong’s long-term research goal is to understand the host-microbiome interactions and how these interactions contribute to the host phenotypes. Over the years, he has uniquely positioned himself through multidisciplinary training to be successful in this area: he is investigating the evolutionary relationships of the symbiont Limosilactobacillus reuteri with vertebrate hosts; he is evaluating the effects of a microbiome restoration strategy that includes a non-industrialized-type diet and the probiotics of L. reuteri, on the gut microbiome and host health; he is also comparing the influence of different dietary fibers on health in overweight people, and determining if these effects are predictable through individual signatures of the gut microbiome. Fuyong has received many fellowships/scholarships/awards, including but not limited to Alberta Innovates-Postgraduate Fellowship, Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures Graduate Student Scholarship, Top-level Doctoral Recruitment Scholarship of University of Alberta, and Erasmus Mundus Scholarship, as recognition for his academic excellence.

Graduate Students

Katherine Ford

Katherine is a PhD student in Dr. Prado’s Lab. She obtained both her Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Foods and Nutrition and her Dietetic Internship from the University of Prince Edward Island.

Katherine then worked as a Registered Dietitian in clinical and community nutrition before pursuing her Master of Science degree at the University of Saskatchewan. Throughout her undergraduate- and graduate-level research, Katherine has been successful in obtaining many scholarships and awards for her academic excellence and leadership. She has presented her work at academic conferences, published her findings, and enjoys guest lecturing on various nutrition-related topics. She has a passion for teaching and mentoring aspiring health care professionals. Katherine’s research interests include nutritional assessment and body composition in adults with chronic disease. Outside of academia, Katherine enjoys hiking and travelling the world. She has always been enthralled with flying and holds a pilot licence and seaplane rating.

Anissa Armet

Anissa is a first-year PhD student supervised by Drs. Prado and Jens Walter. She recently received her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Food Sciences with distinction, and completed a year-long Integrated Dietetic Internship, both from the University of Alberta. Anissa discovered her passion for research during her experiences working and volunteering for different nutrition studies in her undergraduate degree. She has worked as a consulting dietitian for participants enrolled in a large clinical trial, educating and counselling them on how to improve their diet and lifestyle. Anissa has also been the recipient of numerous scholarships due to her extensive volunteering and academic excellence at the University of Alberta. Her current research focuses on modulating the gut microbiome using nutrition interventions, especially by increasing dietary fibre intake, to benefit health. In her spare time, Anissa loves to cook, go on hikes, travel, and spend time with family and friends.

Ana Paula Pagano

Ana Paula is a first year PhD student supervised by Dr Prado. She completed a Nutrition and Metabolism degree at the University of São Paulo (USP), Ribeirão Preto, Brazil - her home country -, where she is a registered dietitian. She also completed both her internship and Specialization in Nutrition at the Hospital of Clinics, Medical School of Ribeirão Preto, USP. During her specialization she began working on the field of body composition assessment of patients with cancer and became very passionate about it. As such, she decided to pursue this passion working on a Master degree, also at USP, and received a competitive two-year scholarship. She completed her degree in 2019 and her work focuses on exploring different techniques for body composition assessment in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.

Ana Paula also loves connecting with patients and students. As a graduate student, she has volunteered as a dietitian at the Hospital of Clinics of Medical School of Ribeirão Preto, providing nutritional care for oncological outpatients and assisting undergraduate students during their internship at the same institution. As a PhD student, her current research aims to study energy requirements in patients with cancer using innovative techniques and approaches.

In her spare time she likes reading fiction books, watching tv series and movies and spending time with her husband and her dog Sushi.

Julia Montenegro

Julia has completed her BSc and internship in Nutrition at the Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO), in Brazil, her home-country. She discovered her love for science during undergraduate degree, when she worked on different projects in the food science field. Julia also has a MSc degree in Food and Nutrition from the same university. Currently, she is a PhD student in Nutrition and Metabolism, supervised by Dr. Prado. Her academic excellence has led her to publish articles, present her work at academic conferences, and receive competitive scholarships. Julia’s study focuses on the impact of a higher protein intake in metabolism, body composition and gut microbiota in people with excessive body weight. In her spare time, Julia likes hiking, traveling, reading, and listening to music.

Montserrat Montes de Oca Ibarra

Montse completed her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition at the University of the Valley of Atemajac (UNIVA) and one-year internship at the Western General Hospital (HGO) in Guadalajara, Mexico, her home-country. She worked as a Registered Dietitian and volunteered in different associations related to sarcopenia and muscular diseases where she discovered her passion for research, which led her to pursue her Master of Science with distinction, also at UNIVA.

Montse has presented her projects in academic conferences and innovations centers. She has received a prestigious and highly competitive four-year scholarship as well as other awards due to her extensive academic excellence and innovation projects in health area.

She is currently a first year PhD student in Nutrition and Metabolism at Dr. Prado’s lab, her research aims to study body composition abnormalities and energy needs in patients recovering from COVID-19. Outside of academia, Montse enjoys traveling, dancing ballet and spending time with her family and friends.

Christofer Cruz

Chris is a first-year Master’s student supervised by Dr. Prado and Dr. Puneeta Tandon. In 2018, he earned his degree, a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Food Science with distinction, with a minor in Physical Activity, from the University of Alberta. He completed a year-long integrated dietetic internship and started his career in health care as a Registered Clinical Dietitian helping individuals use diet modifications to manage chronic diseases such as diabetes, kidney disease, and obesity. Though he continues to utilize his nutritional expertise and lifestyle counselling in health care he was introduced to the research world by Dr. Prado and his current research at the University of Alberta focuses on digital technologies to create innovative nutrition solutions for chronic disease. Outside of academia, Chris enjoys weightlifting, bodybuilding, rock climbing and playing video games and he has a strong interest in men’s fashion, is a creative cook, and tattoo collector.

Visitor PhD Students

Bruna Silva

Bruna completed a Nutrition and Metabolism degree at the University of São Paulo (USP), Ribeirão Preto, Brazil - her home Country - where she is a registered dietitian. She also completed her internship at the University of São Paulo Faculty of Medicine Clinics Hospital of Ribeirão Preto, USP.

She has been involved in academic research since the beginning of her undergraduate program. She started researching obesity, body composition, and since 2015 she has been enthusiastic about breast cancer and body composition. Therefore, she decided to go deeper in this research area, through a doctorate degree at the University of São Paulo (USP), Ribeirão Preto, where she studies different techniques for assessing body composition, diet, oxidative stress and quality of life in breast cancer.

Due to Bruna's passion for having direct contact with patients, she also volunteered as a dietitian during her first and second year of PhD at the Faculty of Medicine Clinics Hospital of Ribeirão Preto. Currently, Bruna is a third-year PhD student in Brazil and has received an academic excellence based award from a public research incentive company in Brazil to spend a year in Dr. Prado's Nutrition and Metabolism lab, under the supervision of Dr Prado, where she will continue to study breast cancer.

She loves cats, music, spending time with her family, playing sports, traveling, besides this time in Canada will be a dream come true.

Flavio Vieira

Flavio completed a Nutrition degree at the University of Brasília (UnB), Brazil – his home country – with an international mobility period at the University of Porto, Portugal. His love for Clinical Nutrition led him to specialize in the area, accomplishing the 2-year Clinical Nutrition Residency Program of Brasília and he also holds the Title of Specialist in Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition by the Brazilian Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (BRASPEN). He is passionate about teaching and learning, therefore he decided to go deeper in the academic area through a Master degree in Human Nutrition at the University of Brasília (UnB), Brazil, where he studied food intake, gastrointestinal hormones and intestinal microbiota of long-term patients after bariatric surgery and his dissertation received an Honorable Mention at the UnB Dissertation and Thesis Award. Currently he is a fourth-year PhD student at the University of Brasília (UnB), Brazil, and his research focuses on sarcopenia, sarcopenic obesity and protein status of long-term patients after bariatric surgery. Due to his academic excellence, he received a research award from a public research incentive company in Brazil to spend a semester in Dr. Prado's Nutrition and Metabolism lab, where he will continue to study sarcopenia and sarcopenic obesity.

Flavio has 5 years of experience as an undergraduate and postgraduate professor in nutrition. Before arriving in Canada, he was working as a technical consultant for the Ministry of Health in Brazil, working with health surveillance, especially with covid-19, which led to a postgraduate course in Epidemiology at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ).

Flavio is completely passionate about volleyball (watching and playing) and loves to do outdoor activities. He likes to spend his leisure time with friends, family, listening to music and watching movies and tv series.

Undergraduate Research Assistants / Volunteers

Claire Rinaldi

Claire is a student at the University of Alberta completing her second year in the Dietetics Specialization Program. She is currently working at Prado Lab for Dr. Carla Prado and Camila Estefani Orsso as a summer research assistant.

Claire has a special interest in diabetes management, research in Pediatric nutrition, the gut microbiome, and community nutrition. She looks forward to completing the Dietetic Internship and finishing her degree in the Spring of 2023.

In her spare time, Claire enjoys photography, going to the gym, hiking, and spending time with family and friends.

Julianne Simard

Julianne will be entering her third year of the Dietetics Specialization at the University of Alberta in the Fall of 2021. Before switching into nutrition, she studied three years of evolutionary biology at the U of A. It was during this time that Julianne discovered her passion for scientific research, initially working in the area of wildlife population genetics. She is honoured and excited to now have the opportunity to gain experience in nutrition research under the guidance of Dr. Prado. Julianne is passionate about the power of food and nutrition to improve people's lives, particularly when they are faced with challenges such as cancer and sarcopenia. She hopes that by working with and learning from Dr. Prado and her colleagues, she can equip herself with the knowledge and skills she will need to help improve the nutritional health and quality of life of her future clients and patients.

In her spare time, you can find Julianne singing, arranging movie and television soundtracks for the piano, and spending time with loved ones at her family's cabin.