Lab Group

Lead Lab Coordinators

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.

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 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 Fellow

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.

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.

Visitor PhD Student

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.

Undergraduate Research Assistant / 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.

Emilia Grindlay

Emilia is a student at the University of Alberta who is completing the final semester of her undergraduate degree in Nutrition and Food Science, with a minor in Communication and Education. She is currently working with Dr. Prado and Ana Paula Pagano as part of an undergraduate research course, with the goal of immersing herself in the topic of knowledge translation in nutrition. Emilia is looking forward to applying her expertise in communication & design for this project, which will culminate in the development of a nutrition resource of her own.

Emilia has explored many facets of nutrition work, from community urban farming, to volunteering at the Campus Food Bank, to recipe standardization and nutrition and allergen assessment at a European deli restaurant.

When she is not busy with schoolwork, Emilia loves to sing, cook, watch movies, do yoga, care for her many houseplants, and spend time with her friends and family.

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.

Nidhi Desai

Hi there! My name is Nidhi and I am a fourth year student pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology degree at University of Alberta. As of Spring 2021, I will be working in Dr. Prado’s lab as a practicum student, assisting Ana Paula in her research projects. Through this practicum, I intend to explore my interests in cancer research as well as gain experience working with clinical populations. I enjoy volunteering and working with people. I have been a long term volunteer at the Edmonton General care center. I also have volunteered at ProActive physiotherapy clinic and have experience tutoring students. In my spare time, I like to paint, go for walks, and spend time with friends.