CNS is Celebrating 10 years!


Pediatric Nutrition - From the womb to 1000 days! 

Stephanie Ann Atkinson, PhD, DSc (Hon), FCAHS, FASN - McMaster University

Professor, Department of Pediatrics,
Associate Member, Department of Biochemistry & Biomedical Sciences
Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University                                                                         
Special Professional Staff, McMaster Children’s Hospital

Dr. Atkinson is Professor and Nutrition Clinician-Scientist, Department of Pediatrics, Associate Member, Department of Biochemistry& Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, and Professional Staff in McMaster Children's Hospital, Hamilton. Her current research ( ) in clinical trial and epidemiological studies focuses on the environmental (e.g. maternal nutrition and physical activity), genetic and biochemical factors during fetal, neonatal and early childhood life that define the offspring phenotype and as risk determinants for non-communicable diseases. Other research interests focused on factors influencing skeletal development secondary to disease process and/or drug therapy (particularly steroids) in diseases such as lymphoblastic leukemia, nephrosis, rheumatoid disorders, cystic fibrosis and epilepsy. In professional service activities she served on the inaugural Governing Council of CIHR, as elected President of the American Society for Nutrition, Chair of the Institute Advisory Board of CIHR-Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes and Chair of the Board of the Maternal, Infant, Child and Youth Health Research Network (MICYRN). She served as an  expert advisor on panels struck by Health Canada, the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine and the Office of Dietary Supplements of NIH that involved development of the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI), Dietary Guidelines for Americans and feeding practice guidelines for infants. Recent recognition honours include a Doctorate of Science, honoris causa, from Western University; election as Fellow of the American Society of Nutrition and Canadian Academy of Health Sciences; and Khursheed Jeejeebhoy Award for Best Application of Clinical Nutrition Research to Clinical Practice from Canadian Nutrition Society.

Meghan Azad, PhD - University of Manitoba

Canada Research Chair, Developmental Origins of Chronic Disease
Associate Professor, Pediatrics and Child Health, University of Manitoba
Research Scientist, Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba
Co-Director, Manitoba Interdisciplinary Lactation Centre (MILC)
Co-Lead, International Perinatal Outcomes in the Pandemic (iPOP) Study
Scientific Director, International Milk Composition (IMiC) Consortium
Manitoba co-Lead, CHILD Cohort Study
CIFAR Fellow, Humans & the Microbiome Program

Dr. Meghan Azad is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Child Health at the University of Manitoba and a Research Scientist at the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba. She holds a Canada Research Chair in Developmental Origins of Chronic Disease and is a CIFAR Fellow in the Humans & the Microbiome Program. Her research program ( is focused on the role of infant nutrition and the microbiome in child growth, development and resilience. Dr. Azad co-Directs the Manitoba Interdisciplinary Lactation Centre (MILC, and leads the new International Milk Composition Consortium that will comprehensively profile human milk from women in diverse low- and middle-income settings, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She also co-leads the Manitoba site of the CHILD Cohort Study (, a national pregnancy cohort following 3500 children to understand how early life experiences shape lifelong health to promote or protect against asthma, allergies and obesity. Dr. Azad directs multiple projects related to infant feeding practices, human milk composition and the microbiome in the CHILD cohort and other populations, including preterm neonates receiving donor milk, and Bangladeshi infants at risk of malnutrition. She also leads collaborative projects examining perceptions of breastfeeding on social media, and developing methods to improve societal support for breastfeeding through school-based education programs. Dr. Azad received the 2018 International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation (ISRHML) Ehrlich-Koldovsky Award. She serves on the ISRHML Executive Council and the joint US/Canada Human Milk Composition Initiative. 

Francine M. Ducharme, MD M.Sc., FRCP (c) - Université Montréal

Professor, Departments of Paediatrics and Social and Preventive Medicine
University of Montreal
Ste-Justine University Health Centre

Dr. Ducharme is Professor in the Departments of Paediatrics and Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Montréal. As a paediatrician and clinical epidemiologist at the CHU Sainte-Justine, she  leads a productive career as physician caring for asthmatic children, as a teacher, as a research mentor, and as a scientist.  Her research program, which has received uninterrupted research funding since 1990, focuses on improving paediatric morbidity through the development of instruments specific to children, educational and drug interventions, systematic reviews, and dissemination of evidence-based guidelines.  Her research program has led to over 200 publications, 200 invited talks, numerous research awards, and co-authorship on several adult and paediatric Canadian Asthma Consensus statements and international statements. Dr. Ducharme’s research program focuses on the secondary and tertiary prevention in children with asthma.

Geneviève Mailhot, PhD, RD - Université Montréal

Associate Professor, Department of Nutrition
Faculty of Medicine, University of Montreal
Researcher, CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center

Dr. Mailhot is an Associate Professor in the Department of Nutrition, University of Montreal and an independent investigator at the CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center. She conducts basic and clinical research primarily focused on vitamin D and chronic diseases (i.e. cystic fibrosis (CF), asthma, sickle cell disease) along a translational continuum from the study of basic mechanisms to clinical practice and back to basic. Other research interests include nutritional challenges in lung transplant candidates and recipients and cystic fibrosis comorbidities, particularly bone disease and diabetes.

Chantal Martineau, RD - Health Canada

Chantal Martineau works as a Manager in the Nutrition Regulations and Standards Division at Health Canada. Since 2011, her work has focused on regulations related to fortification and Foods for Special Dietary Uses. She also recently led the team responsible to develop updated regulations related to vitamin d fortification, trans fat and human milk fortifiers.  Previously she was manager for the revision of the 2007 Canada Food Guide and worked on the development of weight classification, infant and prenatal nutrition guidelines. Before joining Health Canada in 2002, she worked as a dietitian at the Sudbury and District Health Unit and for the Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program. She is a Registered Dietitian and holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Florida State University and a master’s degree in Nutrition from West Virginia University.  

Philip M. Sherman, MD, FRCPC - Hospital for Sick Children

Senior Scientist, Cell Biology Program, Hospital for Sick Children
Professor of Paediatrics, Medical Science, Microbiology (Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology), Nutritional Sciences, and Dentistry,
University of Toronto
Canada Research Chair (tier 1) in Gastrointestinal Disease

Philip Sherman is Professor of Paediatrics, Microbiology, Nutritional Sciences, & Dentistry at the Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto where he has been on faculty since 1984. Sherman is a Past-President of the North American Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition and Past-President of the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology. He is the recipient of a Canada Research Chair (tier 1) in Gastrointestinal Disease (2001-22). Sherman was Scientific Director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes (2009-2017). His research interest focuses on epithelial cell signaling responses in settings of intestinal injury and inflammation. 

Lynne Underhill, BSc.(Agr), MSc. - Health Canada

Chief, Nutrition Premarket Assessment Division
Bureau of Nutritional Sciences
Food Directorate
Health Canada

Lynne Underhill has been involved in safety assessment of foods and feeds for the Canadian government for over twenty years, beginning as an evaluation specialist at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.  In 2006, she moved to Health Canada, where she is Chief of Premarket Assessment in the Bureau of Nutritional Sciences.

Her team is responsible for premarket nutritional and compositional assessment of food additives, novel foods, and importantly for this audience, infant formulas, human milk fortifiers, and new ingredients for infant foods. Her group also conducts pre- and post-market assessment of health claims for foods.

© 2021 CNS-SCN - Canadian Nutrition Society