Board of Directors 2017-2018

President / VP-Research
David Ma, PhD

Department of Human Health &
Nutritional Sciences
University of Guelph
Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1


Dr. Ma obtained his PhD in Medical Sciences in 2001 at the University of Alberta conducting research on the anticancer properties of conjugated linoleic acids in breast cancer. He then moved to Texas A&M University where he did postdoctoral research investigating the role of omega-3 fatty acids and folate in colon cancer. He returned to Canada where he joined the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto as an Assistant Professor in 2004. Then, in 2007 joined the faculty in the Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Guelph where he is currently an Associate Professor.

The long term objective of Dr. Ma's research program is to increase our fundamental knowledge of the role of dietary fatty acids in human health and disease. Currently, his research is focused on breast cancer prevention and how omega-3 fatty acids modify mammary gland development, signaling, and tumour development.

Dr. Ma is currently the Chair of the CNS Communications Committee, and member of the advisory board, resources and advocacy committees.

Robert Bertolo, PhD

Department of Biochemistry
Memorial University of Newfoundland
St. John's, Newfoundland A1B 3X9


Dr. Robert Bertolo has been with the Department of Biochemistry at Memorial University of Newfoundland since 2002. He trained at the Universities of Guelph and Alberta studying nutrition and metabolism during development with a focus on amino acid and protein nutrition. As an Associate Professor of Nutrition and Metabolism and Canada Research Chair in Human Nutrition, his current research involves the neonatal use of amino acids for growth and non-growth requirements. Recently, he has developed the miniature pig as a model for the early origins of adult disease and was the recipient of the International Life Sciences Institute (North America) Future Leader Award for work in this area. In particular, he is interested in how neonatal nutrition and methyl metabolism affect programming of gene expression that can eventually lead to higher risk for developing obesity and hypertension. Dr. Bertolo is actively engaged in nutrition outreach and student development and is currently the President of the Canadian Nutrition Society.

Vice-President - Research
James House, PhD

Professor and Head
Department of Human Nutritional Sciences,
Faculty of Human Ecology,


Dr. House received his B.Sc. (Agr) from the University of Guelph in 1990. He then completed his Ph.D. in nutrition and metabolism from the Department of Animal & Poultry Science at the University of Guelph in 1996, under the co-supervision of Drs. Ron Ball and Paul Pencharz. For the next three years, Jim worked as a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Biochemistry at Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John’s, with Dr. Sean Brosnan, where he was the recipient of a Medical Research Council of Canada Fellowship in 1998. In the fall of 1998, he joined the Department of Animal Science at the University of Manitoba, with a cross-appointment to the Department of Human Nutritional Sciences. Jim has received the young investigator awards from Canadian Society of Animal Science (CSAS) and the Canadian Society for Nutritional Sciences. He has been active in the Canadian nutrition community, serving a 3-year term as awards councilor for the Canadian Society for Nutritional Sciences (CSNS), and chairing the joint meeting of CSNS, CSAS, and the Canadian Section of the American Oil Chemists’ Society (CAOCS), officially known as the Canadian Nutrition Congress, in Winnipeg in 2007. With respect to his research program, his current interests include understanding the interplay between vitamin status and amino acid metabolism and the investigation of factors influencing the nutritional quality of eggs. In January 2009, Jim was appointed Head of the Department of Human Nutritional Sciences, University of Manitoba.

Vice-President - Health Professionals
Mei Tom, RD

Director - Nutrition Services
Edmonton Zone
Alberta Health Services


I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Alberta and was accepted into the Dietetic Internship Program at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta.

I started my career as a Dietitian at the Royal Alexandra Hospital and then moved to the University of Alberta Hospital – I have worked in a variety of settings but mainly in the area of Medicine and had a strong interest in Pulmonary and GI. After 12 years of clinical experience, I went into a clinical leadership role and over the years, my work has broadened and the job continues to challenge me both professionally and personally.

I am a conservative “foodie” and am always on the hunt for a great cup of coffee!

It is a constant challenge to develop and provide great education opportunities to clinicians. I hope my past experience will help in contributing to the development of strong education programs in CNS!

Alison Duncan, PhD, RD

Professor, Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences
University of Guelph
Guelph, Ontario, Canada  N1G 2W1


Alison Duncan is a Professor and Associate Director of Research at the Human Nutraceutical Research Unit (HNRU), in the Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences (HHNS) at the University of Guelph.  Following an undergraduate degree in Applied Human Nutrition from the University of Guelph, she completed training to become a Registered Dietitian at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, a M.Sc. in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Toronto and a Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Minnesota. Her teaching is in the area of functional food and nutraceuticals and she coordinates the M.Sc. coursework program in HHNS at the University of Guelph.  Her research relates to the biological effects of functional foods and natural health products on chronic disease risk evaluated in human intervention studies, with a particular focus on the agri-food-health continuum.  Dr. Duncan has 65 peer-reviewed publications and 80 conference abstracts and has trained 80 graduate students and 75 BSc research students.  Dr. Duncan is currently the Research Program Director for the Food for Health Theme for the OMAFRA-University of Guelph Partnership, serves on the Journal of Nutrition Editorial Board and has served as Treasurer and Member of the Board of Directors for the Canadian Nutrition Society for the past 2 years.  She regularly serves her community through nutrition presentations (lifetime tally 80), and service on grant review committees and scientific advisory boards.

Director at Large
Guylaine Ferland, PhD

Department of Nutrition
Université de Montreal
Montreal Heart Institute 
Research Centre
5000 Rue Bélanger Est
Montréal, QC H1T 1C8


Guylaine Ferland is a professor of nutrition at Université de Montréal and scientist at the Research Centre of the Montreal Heart Institute. She is an expert in vitamin K metabolism and her team has made significant contributions to the role of this nutrient in brain function and cognition. In addition to her work in vitamin K, Dr. Ferland conducts research on the general role of nutrition in cognitive health during aging. In recent years she has been PI of the CIHR-funded NutCog Study, a Quebec cohort study aimed at better understanding the modulatory role of nutrition and metabolic states in cognitive aging. She is also an active member of the Nutrition, Exercice and Lifestyle team of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging, a nation-wide research initiative on Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases in aging. Dr. Ferland’s research activities include both animal models and human studies and are currently supported by CIHR and FRSQ. Dr. Ferland is the author/co-author of 90 peer-reviewed publications and totals >35 guest presentations in the last 5 years. Dr Ferland has served as nutrition expert on various panels, notably the DRI Micronutrient Panel [Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences (1999-2000)] and the working group that lead to the Policy Recommendations on the Addition of Vitamins and Minerals to Foods [Health Canada (2000)]. She is a regular reviewer for nutrition journals (e.g. J Nutr, AJCN, JAND) and has recently served as a member of the CIHR-NUT committee (2013-2014). Dr. Ferland has been an active member of the Canadian Nutrition Society since its creation in 2009 where she has served in the Executive committee as Chair of the Awards committee (2009-2013), and as member of the Advisory Council (2013-2015). She is also a member of ASN.

Director at Large
Vera Mazurak, PhD

University of Alberta
4-002 Li Ka Shing Centre for Research Innovation 
Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2P5


Defining better nutritional interventions for those at risk of malnutrition has been a passion of mine ever since I started research.  My PhD investigated alterations in metabolism that occur during critical illness with a focus on lipid metabolism and immunity.  Following my PhD, I trained in Munich, Germany and subsequently at the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton.  I commenced my first Faculty position at the University of Alberta in 2005 where I have been ever since.  My current research program focuses on how changes in metabolism impact on nutritional requirements in diseases characterized by inflammation with a primary focus on cancer and its treatment, inflammatory bowel disease, and fatty liver disease.  The emphasis in my program is on lipid nutrition and metabolism, and I am particularly interested in how providing essential dietary nutrients can treat pathology related to disease and improve care for patients.  My translational research program spans from experimental models of disease (cell culture and animal models) to conducting  human clinical trials. 

My experience in teaching human nutrition spans nearly 20 years.  Since beginning my academic appointment I have developed and/or instructed 8 courses in the Department of AFNS  undergraduate and graduate programs.  I supervise undergraduate, graduate student (PhD and MSc) and postdoctoral fellow research programs in Nutrition as well as the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry.  

Apart from academia, I own and operate a consulting business, Nutri-Vee Enterprises, which provides practical, evidenced-based information and solutions to assist clients in promoting health and wellness through nutrition and healthy lifestyles. 

I have been a member of CNS since graduate studies .  Previous roles in the CNS include local organizing chair (CNS annual meeting 2011), abstract award reviews and I currently serve on the awards committee

Director at Large
Rupinder Dhaliwal, RD, FDC

Director of Operations
Metabolic Syndrome Canada


Rupinder Dhaliwal is the Director of Operations, Metabolic Syndrome Canada, a not for profit organization aimed at improving the health of Canadians through diet and exercise. In this role, she has been instrumental in the development, evaluation and dissemination of the CHANGE program (Canadian Health Advanced by Nutrition and Graded Exercise). She is responsible for collaborating and networking with experts and researchers in nutrition, exercise and primary care across Canada. In her previous role as Manager of Research & Networking at the Clinical Evaluation Research Unit Queen’s University, Rupinder was at the forefront of the development of innovation and advancement of clinical nutrition in critical care. She served as Project Coordinator of several large-scale nutrition trials published in the New England Journal of Medicine and other leading journals. She has assisted in the development of novel feeding protocols (PEP uP Protocol) designed to enhance enteral nutrition delivery. She participated in the development and validation of the first nutrition risk assessment tool specifically for the critical care environment (NUTRIC Score). She helped develop an internationally recognized quality improvement program in critical care nutrition that has involved over 700 ICUs worldwide and she is currently assisting with the conduct of a similar initiative in Cancer care with University of Alberta. As Executive Director for the Nutrition and Rehabilitation Investigators Consortium, she was responsible for bringing together researchers and stakeholders to improve the health and care of patients through optimal nutrition and exercise by fostering the development of multicentre clinical trials. She is a Registered Dietitian, has written numerous publications and presented at many national and international conferences. In June 2016, Rupinder was awarded “Fellow of Dietitians of Canada” for her professional growth, excellence and achievements throughout her career.