Dr. Raylene Reimer is a Professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of Calgary. She holds a joint appointment in the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology in the Cumming School of Medicine and is a Full Scientist in the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute. She is also a Registered Dietitian. Dr. Reimer has an internationally recognized translational research program focused on the role of diet in modifying gut microbiota and host metabolism in the context of obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases such as fatty liver disease and osteoarthritis. She has done extensive research in animal models to study how maternal diet and more recently paternal diet, influences offspring's gut microbiota, glucose tolerance and ultimately obesity risk. Translating findings from animal models to human clinical trials is a key way in which Dr. Reimer spans bench to bedside research. She has published 187 research papers and is principal inventor on several patents. She is a Fellow of the Obesity Society and has been invited to serve on two separate international expert panels to define the scope and appropriate use of the terms prebiotics and synbiotics. Her work has been widely recognized by the media (over 130 media interviews) and with several awards including the Earle Willard McHenry Award for Distinguished Service in Nutrition and the Centrum New Scientist Award for Outstanding Research from the Canadian Nutrition Society, and a Killam Annual Professor award.
The concept of developmental programming suggests that environmental exposures during critical periods of development have permanent effects on tissue structure and metabolism. Maternal diet is one of the most well-studied environmental factors that ‘programs’ offspring health. More recently, father’s diet has also been shown to play a critical role in determining the metabolic fate of their offspring. This presentation will focus on the growing evidence for the impact of paternal diet on the metabolic and gut microbiota-related outcomes of their offspring. A variety of paternal dietary influences, including diets high in fat/sucrose, protein, and prebiotic fibre, will be discussed. The objectives of this presentation are: 1. To understand the role of parental diet on the developmental origins of health and disease. 2. To examine specific paternal diet patterns and their impact and potential mechanisms of action on the metabolic and microbial outcomes in offspring. 3. To highlight the translational aspect of this work and examine what is known about paternal dietary influences in humans.