Nutrition and Academic Advisors

The effectiveness of the Canadian Sugar Institute's Nutrition Information Service depends on advice from nutrition experts and professional groups. For this reason, the Canadian Sugar Institute works collaboratively with other organizations and groups to ensure a science-based approach to the communication and dissemination of information that relates to food, nutrition, and health in the Canadian context.

Program in Food Safety, Nutrition and Regulatory Affairs

The Canadian Sugar Institute contributes to the Program in Food Safety, Nutrition and Regulatory Affairs (PFSNRA), an affiliate of the Department of Nutritonal Sciences, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto. For nearly 25 years the PFSNRA has brought together scientific expertise from universities, industry, government, health sector and NGOs to address complex food and nutrition related issues in Canada. The PFSNRA also has international linkages to make use of global scientific advances in food and health sectors. The PFSNRA plays a crucial part in promoting scientific understanding of current issues through scientific academic-industry collaboration amongst its members and associates.

World Sugar Research Organisation

World Sugar Research Organisation

The Canadian Sugar Institute is a member of the World Sugar Research Organisation (WSRO), a world-wide alliance that supports 32 member countries. The WSRO is the only international scientific research organization that is dedicated to the development of a better understanding of the role of sugar and other carbohydrates in health and nutrition, and is committed to monitoring and communicating research that is accredited and science-based.

Canadian Sugar Institute Scientific Advisory Council

The Canadian Sugar Institute’s Nutrition Information Service is guided by a Scientific Advisory Council, a group of respected nutrition researchers from across Canada.

The Scientific Advisory Council members are:

Nick Bellissimo, PhD
Professor, School of Nutrition
Ryerson University
Director of the Food Intake Regulation and Satiety Testing (FIRST) Laboratory

David D. Kitts, PhD
Professor, Department of Food Science
University of British Columbia

Robert Ross, PhD
Professor, School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, Medicine
Queen's University

Donna Vine, PhD
Professor, Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutritional Science
University of Alberta

Nick Bellissimo, PhD

Dr. Nick Bellissimo is an Associate Professor in the School of Nutrition at Ryerson University and Director of the Food Intake Regulation and Satiety Testing (FIRST) Laboratory. He received his B.Sc. (Honours Science) and B.Ed. (Science Education) at York University and his M.Sc. (in 2003) and Ph.D. (in 2007) in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Toronto. Following postdoctoral training at the University of Toronto and The Pennsylvania State University he returned to Canada and established a research program in food intake regulation and pediatric obesity. While his research program continues to focus on the physiological and environmental factors that contribute to appetite and energy imbalances in children, he has recently expanded his program in the areas of community and international nutrition, women's health, and sports nutrition. His FIRST Laboratory is, or has been, funded by grants from Ryerson University, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Dairy Farmers of Canada, The Obesity Society/Egg Nutrition Centre, Danone Institute of Canada, Mitacs Globalink, and the Agri-Food industry.

He is the recipient of several competitive awards including the Dean's Teaching Award (Ryerson University) for teaching excellence and achievement in instruction, Canadian Institutes of Health Research Postdoctoral Fellowship in Clinical Nutrition Research, and the Doctoral Dissertation Award from the Canadian Nutrition Society for outstanding research contributing to the degree of PhD. He is a member of several journal editorial boards, scientific advisor to government agencies and institutes, and the food industry.

David D. Kitts, PhD

Dr. David Kitts obtained his BSc, MSc and PhD degrees at the University of British Columbia, specializing in the area of animal physiology and biochemistry, followed by a Post Doctoral Fellowship at the University of California, Davis in Physiology and Endocrinology. Dr. Kitts is a professor in the Food Science group within the Food Nutrition and Health program, Faculty of Land and Food Systems, at the University of B.C. Dr. Kitts teaches 3rd and 4th year undergraduate course in Food Chemistry, Functional Foods and graduate courses in Advances in Food Chemistry and Food Toxicology. His areas of research also specialize in the disciplines of Food Chemistry, Toxicology and Nutrition. He is a former president of BC Food Technologists and one of the founding directors of BC Functional Food and Nutraceuticals. Dr. Kitts has served on many national committees that have worked to develop standards for nutritional labelling and nutritional claims.His research activities in the past and present include the identification of potential toxicants in foods and evaluation of processes for removal or inactivation from the food supply.

Dr. Kitts’ research interests have focused primarily on factors involved in the Maillard reaction, a common reaction which can be attributed to the browning of food and which also dictates the availability of reducing sugars for functional versus nutritional purposes. In addition, he has been active at characterizing the structure-function activities of several naturally present antioxidants and the related potential physiological responses in regulating oxidative stress.He has published more than 180 papers on these topics.

Robert Ross, PhD

Dr. Robert Ross obtained a Bachelor degree in Physical Education from McGill University, and a Master's (1988) and Ph.D in Exercise Physiology from the Université de Montréal in 1992. He is currently a Professor within the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies and the Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at Queen's University, Canada. His research program focuses on the characterization of obesity and related co-morbid conditions, and the development of treatment strategies designed to prevent and reduce obesity and related metabolic risk factors, in particular insulin resistance.

Dr. Ross is recognized internationally as a leader in the area of obesity, physical activity and metabolism and has published extensively in these and related areas. He has received the Young Investigator Award from the Canadian Society for Clinical Nutrition, a Premiere's Research Excellence Award from the province of Ontario, and was recently awarded a Research Chair at Queen's University. He is currently the Past-President of the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology, and is the Director of the Center for Obesity Research and Education in Canada.

Donna Vine, PhD

Dr. Donna Vine obtained a PhD in Human Nutrition from the University of Western Australia. Dr. Vine trained as a physiologist and biochemistry scientist in both Australia and Canada. She joined the Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science at the University of Alberta in 2004 and went on to become an Associate Professor in 2011. She is also the Co-Director of the Metabolic and Cardiovascular Diseases Laboratory.

Dr. Vine and the MCVD Laboratory are contributing to the link between intestinal lipid absorption and metabolism in relationship to cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, polycystic ovarian syndrome and pre-diabetes. Dr. Vine and her team have been one of the first to contribute to the study of the effect of dietary fats on lipid transport and metabolism pathways in these disease states and they continue to research the basic physiological processes involved. Most recently they have begun to explore dietary improvements and pharmaceutical interventions to understand the etiology of the metabolic complications of PCOS in animal models.