- ABOUT US
Deborah L. O'Connor, Ph.D., R.D.
Professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences
Director, Department of Clinical Dietetics
- Department of Nutritional Sciences
- Department of Clinical Dietetics and the Program in Physiology and Experimental Medicine,
The Hospital for Sick Children
- BASc (Applied Human Nutrition), University of Guelph;
- MS and PhD (Nutritional Sciences), University of Illinois; RD, Kingston General Hospital
- 2000 Pinnacle Award of Excellence, Abbott Laboratories
- 1997 Alumni Medal of Achievement, University of Guelph Alumni Association
- American Nutrition Society
- Canadian Nutrition Society
- College of Dietitians of Ontario
- Dietitians of Canada
- International Society for Research on Human Milk and Lactation
- Our research program is currently focused on three areas of maternal and infant nutrition. First, we are interested in assessing the folate status of Canadians with an emphasis on women. Folate is one of the B-vitamins and inadequate blood levels can increase a woman’s risk of having an infant with a birth defect, specifically a neural tube defect. We continue to investigate the role that bacterial biosynthesis of folate in the colon plays on the folate status of humans. Second, we are very actively investigating the use of donor human milk for very low birth weight infants when mothers’ own milk is in short supply. We believe using donor human milk as a supplement to mothers’ own milk during initial hospitalization may improve the long-term neurocognitive outcomes of these vulnerable infants. Finally, we have been examining the relationships between metabolic status (normoglycemia, gestational diabetes) of women during pregnancy on breast milk hormone composition. It is well known that maternal diet and metabolic status may program off-spring in utero for adult diseases later in life. We are interested whether early diet, and specifically breast milk composition, could do the same.
- Jane Francis (MSc)
- Yunnie Luk (MSc)
- Shannon Masih (MSc, co-supervisor)
- Yen-Ming Chan (PhD)
- Lesley Hoyt (PhD, co-supervisor)
- Joan Brennan (MSc)
- Sylvia Ley (PhD, co-supervisor)
- Brenda Hartmann (PhD)
- Dawn Ng (undergraduate thesis)
- Ley SH, Hanley AJ, Retnakaran R, Sermer M, Zinman B, O’Connor DL. Impact of macronutrient intake during the second trimester on glucose metabolism later in pregnancy. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 94:1225-1231, 2011.
- Nash A, Dunn M, Asztalos E, Corey M, Mulvihill-Jory B, O’Connor DL. Pattern of growth of very low birth weight preterm infants, assessed using the WHO Growth Standards, is associated with neurodevelopment. Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism 36(4):562-9, 2011.
- O’Connor DL, Weishuhn K, Rovet J, Mirabella G, Jefferies A, Campbell DM, Asztalos E, Feldman M, Whyte H, Westall C. Visual development of human milk-fed preterm infants provided with extra energy and nutrients after hospital discharge. Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition Dec 13 [E-Pub ahead of print] (principal author).
- Ley S, Hanley AJ, Stone D, O'Connor DL. Effects of pasteurization on adiponectin and insulin concentrations in donor human milk. Pediatric Research 70(3):278-81, 2011.
- Weinmann A, Post M, Pan J, Rafi M, O'Connor DL, Unger S, Pencharz P, Belik J. Tetrahydrobiopterin is present in high quantity in human milk and has a vasorelaxing effect on newborn rat mesenteric Arteries. Pediatric Research Apr;69(4):325-9, 2011.
- Ewaschuk JB, Unger S, Harvey S, O’Connor DL, Field CJ. Effect of pasteurization on immune components of milk: implications for feeding preterm infants. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism 36:175-182, 2011.
- Ewaschuk JB, Unger S, O’Connor DL, Stone D, Harvey S, Clandinin MT, Field CJ. Effect of pasteurization on selected immune components of donated human milk. J Perinatology Sep;31(9):593-8, 2011.
- Aufreiter S, Kim JH, O’Connor DL. Dietary Oligosaccharides Increase Colonic Weight and the Amount but not Concentration of Bacterially Synthesized Folate in the Colon of Piglets. Journal of Nutrition 2011 Jan 26. [Epub ahead of print] Mar;141(3):366-72, 2011.
- Grant SM, Wolever TMS, O'Connor DL, Nisenbaum R, Josse JG. Effect of a low glycaemic index diet on blood glucose in women with gestational hyperglycaemia. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice Jan;91(1):15-22, 2011. Epub 2010 Nov 20.
- Maguire JL, Birken CS, O’Connor DL, Mamdani M, Macarthur C, Thorpe KE. Prevalence and Predictors of Low Vitamin D in Urban Canadian Toddlers. Pediatrics & Child Health 16 ( 2): e 11-e 15, 2011.
- Ley SH, O'Connor DL, Retnakaran R, Hamilton JK, Sermer M, Zinman B, Hanley AJ. . Impact of maternal metabolic abnormalities in pregnancy on human milk and subsequent infant metabolic development: methodology and design. BMC Public Health. 2010 Oct 6;10(1):590.
- Shakur Y, Garriguet D, Corey P and O’Connor DL. Folic acid fortification over mandated levels results in a low prevalence of folate inadequacy among Canadians. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 92(4):818-25, 2010.
- Colapinto C, O’Connor DL, Tremblay M. Examining the folate status of Canadians. Canadian Medical Association Journal 183(2):E100-6, 2011.
- Tactacan G, Jing M, Thiessen S, Rodriguez-Lecompte JC, O’Connor DL, Guenter W, House J. Characterization of folate-dependent enzymes and indices of folate status in laying hens supplemented with folic acid or 5-methyltetrahydrofolate. Poultry Science 89(4):688-696, 2010.
- Obadia M, Rakhshani N, Jeffery AS, Chahal N, Sangha G, McCrindle BW, O’Connor DL, Maccarone T, Hamilton J. MEALTRAIN: What do inpatient hospitalized children choose to eat? Journal of Pediatrics 156(4):685-686, 2010.
555 University Avenue