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Dr. Yvonne Lamers
Associate Professor Canada Research Chair in Human Nutrition and Vitamin Metabolism Investigator, BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute
Faculty of Land and Food Systems
University of British Columbia
Discovery (Biological & Genetic Mechanisms)
The overarching theme of my research is nutrient adequacy for optimal health and development. My enthusiasm for human nutrition research draws from my interest in the physiology and biochemistry of nutrition-related diseases and in targeted and population-based strategies of chronic disease prevention and optimal health promotion. My research specifically focuses on B-vitamins and their kinetics and functions in human metabolism. B-vitamins are required for normal cell growth and neurological function and thus have an impact on human health from the embryo to the older adult. Low folate and/or vitamin B-12 status may yield pregnancy complications, low birth weight, cancer, and cognitive impairment.
My current research projects focus on maternal-fetal nutrient dependency, periconceptional vitamin adequacy, and the role of maternal and infant nutrition on growth and development. I also lead an international project on the relationship between perinatal nutrition and developmental outcomes in children with a focus on cognition, and how this relationship may be mediated through epigenetic mechanisms.
In the UBC Nutritional Biomarker Laboratory that I established; my team has set up a wide array of externally validated analytical methods. One of our goals is to identify sensitive nutritional biomarkers for early diagnosis of micronutrient inadequacies. With the use of stable isotope tracer protocols, we are able to investigate metabolic and functional consequences of nutritional inadequacies and micronutrient interactions in various population groups. The studies will help elaborate potential underlying mechanisms responsible for linkages between B-vitamin intake and chronic diseases and in the evaluation of optimal vitamin intake to maintain biochemical functions, with a special focus on Women’s Health.