Today’s post comes from Khushmol Dhaliwal and Audrey St-Laurent. Khushmol’s MSc thesis focused on exploring risk factors contributing to obesity and unhealthy weight gain among children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. She is currently serving as the Vice-Chair for the 2020-21 OC-SNP National Executive. Audrey is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Nutrition at Laval University. She is also the current Chair of the OC-SNP National Executive.

The OC-SNP is very excited to announce the winners of the 2020-2021 OC-SNP Awards! Over this past year, we have been very fortunate to see many individuals rise to the occasion in hosting innovative events and pushing obesity research forward despite all of the uncertainty and concern for health that this year has brought us. Therefore, we hope to recognize some of our amazing champions through these awards. We are excited to present the Rising Star Award, the OC-SNP Champion Award and the Faculty Supervisor Award!

It’s been a tough year for student research and researchers with quarantines and lock downs but we are so proud of this year’s OC-SNP award winners! Congratulations 

Laura Vergeer has been a member of the OC-SNP National Executive for three years, including as Chair in 2019/20. She is currently serving as the Outgoing Chair of the OC-SNP National Executive. Laura is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto. Laura’s primary research focus is on evaluating food company policies, commitments and actions shaping the food environment. Laura will be awarded $250 and registration to next year’s COS/COSM conference. Congratulations, Laura!

Vera currently serves as the chair of the University of Toronto OC-SNP chapter. She is a third year PhD candidate at the Institute of Biomedical Engineering at the U of T. During her research she is creating a model in the laboratory to mimic “obesity in a dish.” Vera will be awarded $250 towards her local chapter. Congratulations to Vera and the U of T chapter!

Dr. Benoit Arsenault is the faculty supervisor for the Laval University OC-SNP Chapter.  Dr. Arsenault joined the Department of Medicine of Université Laval in 2013. He is also a research scientist in the cardiology axis at the Québec Heart and Lung Institute. 

Dr. Arsenault’s team uses genetic tools such as Mendelian randomization and family studies to investigate the causes and consequences of cardiometabolic diseases such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. He also leads a research program funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research on the basic and genetic mechanisms through which Lipoprotein(a) contributes to heart valve disorders such as calcific aortic valve stenosis using multi-omic technologies. 

Dr. Arsenault is a member of the International Chair on Cardiometabolic Risk (ICCR), the Lipoprotein(a) Foundation Scientific Advisory Board and the Genomic Investigation of Statin Therapy (GIST) and the GENIUS-CHD consortia. He has authored or co-authored more than 130 peer-reviewed manuscripts. He is also on the Editorial board and serves as social media curator for American Journal of Physiology – Endocrinology and Metabolism. 

Dr. Arsenault has very generously decided to donate the Faculty Supervisor award prize to the Laval University OC-SNP as a chapter grant! Congratulations and thank you Dr. Arsenault!

Canadian Obesity Summit WW Student Abstract Awards:

It is our great pleasure to announce the below individuals have been selected as a winner for the Canadian Obesity Summit’s WW student abstract awards. 

This year’s competition was extremely competitive, however only the following submissions have been selected by the committee:

  • Ming Li (The Hospital for Sick Children/University of Toronto) for “Roadblocks, Not Stop Sign: Post-operatice Teen Experiences Following Bariatric Surgery”
  • Jessica Murphy (Concordia University) for “Adipose Tissue Senescence in Young Women with Childhood-onset and Adult-onset Obesity Before and After Moderate Weight Loss”
  • Vera M. Pieters (University of Toronto) for “A 3-Dimensional in vitro Model to Study Obesity-associated Adipocyte Dysfunction and Hypoxia”
  • Laura Vergeer (University of Toronto) for “The Level of Processing, Nutritional Composition and Prices of Canadian Packaged Foods and Beverages with and without Gluten-free Claims”
  • Alaa T. Youssef (University of Toronto/University Health Network) for “Understand the Relationship Between Bariatric Patients Health-related Quality of Life Outcomes and Post-surgical Care Experiences in an Integrated Care Program: an Explanatory-Sequential Mixed Method Study”