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Maria Fernanda Mujica-Coopman

Graduate Student

Faculty of Land and Food Systems

My interest in human nutrition research started during my undergraduate studies. I completed my MSc in Human Nutrition at the Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology (INTA), University of Chile, in 2015. The main focus of my master thesis was the comparison of iron and zinc supplementation on anemia in Chilean childbearing-aged women. As part of a Canada-Chile Leadership Exchange Scholarship, awarded 2014, I participated in a collaborative project between Drs Yvonne Lamers and Gilberto Kac (Rio de Janeiro Federal University, Brazil). In this project, we studied the physiological changes of vitamin B6 status in Brazilian pregnant women from a prospective cohort study conducted by Dr. Kac.

Since then, my research interest has focused on maternal B-vitamin status and early development. My PhD research aims to assess the role of the methyl nutrients folate, vitamin B-6, riboflavin, choline and betaine in relation to epigenetic programming for fetal growth and obesity related genes. I am also interested in exploring the role of maternal methyl nutrient status on anthropometric birth outcomes such as birth weight and adiposity.

Awards received: UBC Four-Year Doctoral Fellowship (4YF), Canada-Chile Leadership Exchange Scholarship, Latin American Society for Nutrition (SLAN) Leadership Award