Hossein Rafiei, PhD
Dr. Hossein Rafiei completed his BSc and MSc in human nutrition and dietetics in Iran and practiced as a dietitian for 5 years prior to perusing a PhD at University of Saskatchewan in 2012.
During his PhD, Dr. Rafiei investigated the effectiveness of dietary polyphenols (found in fruits and vegetables) in protecting against molecular mechanisms (with a specific focus on mitochondrial biogenesis and function, and bioenergetics) underlying nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. He defended his PhD dissertation entitled “Molecular mechanisms of protection by dietary polyphenols against free fatty acid-induced mitochondrial dysfunction and endoplasmic reticulum stress in a cell model of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease” in June 2017, prior to joining Dr. Little’s EMIL lab as a postdoctoral fellow in July 2017. His current study investigates if salivary insulin can be reliably used to monitor metabolic profile in lean and overweight/obese individuals. Dr. Rafiei is also conducting a research to determine if breaking up prolonged sitting with intense stair climbing sprints would improve metabolic profile and endothelial function in lean or overweight/obese individuals following ingestion of high carbohydrate meals.
Dr. Rafiei is interested in an academic career to apply his research knowledge and experiences in integrating findings from human studies with experimental and cellular models to prevent or treat complex metabolic diseases.
Jeremy Walsh, PhD
The overarching focus of Dr. Walsh’s research is to understand how aspects of the whole day (e.g., sleep, physical activity, sedentary behavior, and diet) independently and collectively influence brain health. The long-term goal of this research is to apply this knowledge in the design of interventions aimed at improving brain health across the lifespan.
Dr. Walsh is currently examining the effects of short-term exogenous oral ketone supplementation on aspects of cardiovascular, immune, and cognitive health in adults at risk for Type 2 Diabetes. Further, Dr. Walsh remains active in research examining the relationship between sleep, physical activity, and screen time on brain health in adolescents.
Matthew Stork, PhD
Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Post-Doctoral Fellow
Matt completed his PhD in Health and Exercise Sciences at UBC Okanagan. While Matt’s research has ranged from investigating first year university students to individuals living with a spinal cord injury, the main focus of his work to date has been to examine the psychological and behavioural implications of engaging in high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Matt has a particular interest in studying largely inactive populations, with an emphasis on determining ways to promote and maximize long-term exercise adherence. As such, Matt has also studied the effects of music as a way of enhancing people’s psychological and physiological responses to exercise and subsequently encouraging future exercise participation.
Matt’s current research in the Exercise, Metabolism, and Inflammation Lab is focused on using his lab-based expertise towards developing and delivering exercise programs in real-world settings such as the workplace.
Current Research: Étienne research focuses on the effects of dietary macronutrients modulation on metabolic health, vascular function and inflammatory status in individuals with type 2 diabetes. He is currently conducting studies evaluating the impact of exogenous ketone supplementation on exercise performance and a broad range of health outcomes including glucose control and insulin secretion.
Future Aspirations: Étienne has always really enjoyed teaching and interacting with students to transmit his passion for health sciences. He hopes that he will be able to make a career in that field in the near future alongside research.
Étienne is originally from Montreal but moved out west in 2013. Alongside his research, he performs health-related fitness testing with several athletic teams including the Edmonton Oilers. He also holds a phlebotomy (CPT) and an exercise physiologist certification (CSEP-CEP).
Current Research: Cody’s research focuses on using exercise and diet interventions to improve metabolic health, vascular function, and inflammation in people with type 2 diabetes. His PhD thesis aims to determine the effectiveness of a low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet to improve glycemic control and reduce the need for glucose-lowering medications in type 2 diabetes.
Cody grew up in the Okanagan and has a passion for the outdoors. He enjoys hiking, camping, rock climbing, and snowboarding and can often be found exploring with his dog Watson.
Wyatt recently graduated with a MSc in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from UBCO. He is currently working in EMIL in an industry collaboration to develop a device to measure insulin in saliva. He enjoys skiing, rock climbing, and outdoor adventures.
Helena has completed her undergrad degree in Human Kinetics at UBC Okanagan and has continued on to pursue a MSc with Dr. Little. She completed her Honours project with EMIL which was focused on exploring the effects of ketones on inflammatory signaling and epigenetic changes. In her MSc she is expanding on her previous work. When she is not in the wet lab, Helena spends her spare time skiing, swimming, hiking, and cycling.
Garett is a MSc student in EMIL. His research focus is on the effect of low-carbohydrate diets on beta-cell function in type 2 diabetes. He is a man of mystery and refuses to send me a picture for the website.
Watson is a new addition to EMIL and likes to spend most of his time sleeping on Étienne’s chair. He likes long walks and welcoming everyone who visits the lab. He is without a doubt the coolest and most popular member of the lab.