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Microbiome in Nutrition Science: Innovations in Research and Clinical Practice


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Nikhil Pai



Nikhil Pai, MD, CNSC, NASPGHAN-F, FAAP, FRCPC (McMaster University)


In this session, I will review exciting research on the dynamic interplay between the microbiome and nutrition science, and share work our group has conducted in this area over the past several years. Specifically, I will talk about our group's efforts to understand these relationships with respect to chronic inflammatory gastrointestinal diseases, steatotic liver disease, short bowel syndrome, and the unique importance of this work in paediatric populations. Finally, I will discuss how this work may be applied to clinical practice, including trials our group are currently conducting, and the exciting research that investigators are performing worldwide to discern how diet and the microbiome may contribute to improved health outcomes. As the recipient of the 2024 Canadian Nutrition Society's Young Investigator Award, I am deeply honoured to share my reflections on the powers of mentorship and sponsorship with junior investigators. This session aims to offer guidance, motivation, and appreciation for the importance of the microbiome in nutrition science.



1. Describe the relationship between diet and the microbiome, particularly in paediatric populations
2. Review current mechanistic and interventional research that are offering  clinical applications of this work for patients
3. Discuss the importance of mentorship and sponsorship in the career trajectory of emerging researchers, particularly in novel, high-risk research areas


Moderator: Stephanie Atkinson, PhD


Dr. Nikhil Pai is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at McMaster University and Staff Physician through the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology at McMaster Children’s Hospital (MCH). He completed medical school at McMaster University, pediatric residency at the Hospital for Sick Children (University of Toronto), and pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition fellowship at Boston Children's Hospital (Harvard Medical School; Physician-Scientist Stream). 
He has been the Medical Lead of the Complex Nutrition Service and Intestinal Rehabilitation Program at MCH and has supported a full-time clinical inpatient/outpatient/endoscopy practice since joining McMaster. Dr. Pai developed an active translational research program focused on the interactions between nutrition and the microbiome. He is an investigator of several clinical trials evaluating the use of the fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) in pediatric inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) anorexia nervosa (AN), and soluble fibre supplementation in pediatric metabolism-associated steatotic liver disease (MASLD). His work has received generous funding (>$21.8M), and he was awarded the 2023 American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN) Stanley Dudrick Research Award and an Ontario Innovation Award for his work on FMT. He shares a patent for his work in urine metabolomics diagnostics for IBD. Dr. Pai is a Member of McMaster University's Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute and the Centre for Metabolism, Obesity and Diabetes Research (MODR). He is also a member of the Pediatric Working Group of the Canadian Malnutrition Task Force, Co-Chair of the Pediatric Nutrition Advisory Committee, Director of the hospital’s Pediatric FMT Stool Bank, and is as an Associate Editor (Nutrition) for the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition. 
Outside of work, he loves being goofy with his two beautiful daughters (2, 6 years old) and partner, Nisha (a paediatric metabolics dietitian who is currently pursuing her PhD in Nutrition Science).  

Original Source: "CNS Education Webinars" Wednesday, May 22, 2024

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Type: Video

Last Updated: May 27, 2024

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