Deborah O'Connor, PhD, RD
Earle W. McHenry Professor and Chair
Department of Nutritional Sciences                                                                       
University of Toronto

Deborah (Debbie) O’Connor PhD RD is the Earle W. McHenry Professor and Chair of the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto, and a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Human Milk and Infant Nutrition. She also holds scientific appointments in the Translational Medicine Program at The Hospital for Sick Children, and the Department of Pediatrics at Sinai Health. At SickKids, she served as Director of Clinical Dietetics and Breastfeeding Support from 2000 to 2012 and then as Associate Chief of Academic and Professional Practice until 2013. She was the inaugural Chair of the Advisory Board for the Rogers Hixon Ontario Human Milk Bank. Dr. O’Connor’s research program focuses on factors that impact human milk composition and early enteral feeding strategies for hospitalized infants to support optimal nutrition, growth, and neurodevelopment including use of donor human milk and nutrient fortification of milk. Additionally she is investigating the contribution of bacterial biosynthesis of folate in the colon to the folate status of humans. Dr. O’Connor is currently or was a recent member of several national and international committees and working groups, including the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada Nutrition Practice Guidelines, US-Canada Governments Joint Dietary Reference Intake Working Group on Chronic Disease Endpoints, US National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Exploration of New Evidence for Nutrition during Pregnancy and Lactation, the NIH’s Breastmilk Ecology: Genesis of Infant Nutrition (BEGIN) Project, and the World Health Organization Guideline Development Group on Human Milk Banking.

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