Miyoung Suh, Professor, RD, PhD

Food and Human Nutritional Sciences
University of Manitoba

Dr. Miyoung Suh is a Professor in the Department of Food and Human Nutritional Sciences at the University of Manitoba. She is also a Principal Investigator for the Division of Neurodegenerative Disorders, as well as for the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine at the St. Boniface Hospital Research Center. As a dietitian, Dr. Suh is actively involved in dietetic society as the Partnership for Dietetic Education Practice Accreditation Surveyor for the Canadian Dietetic Education Programs and as an international reviewer on a new clinical department program. Dr. Suh is a nutrition lead of the Canada Israel International Fetal Alcohol Consortium (CIIFAC), studying the impacts of maternal nutrition on the fetal development and birth outcomes in alcohol-insulted animals. This work is extended to identify nutritional status of alcohol-consuming pregnant mothers in the Indigenous communities in Northern Manitoba. Dr. Suh’s on-going research involves studying the fundamental roles of dietary lipids on neural cell development and function (brain and retina) under alcoholic, diabetic and obese conditions. She has been repeatedly recognized as an outstanding teacher and mentor at the University of Manitoba and researcher by receiving ‘Scientist of the Year’ and ‘Women in Science and Engineers (WiSE) Award’ by the Korean Federation of Science and Technology Societies, which is given to a Korean scientist working abroad with significant contributions in their area of research. Overall, her research outcomes provide aa underlying basis for the provision of optimal nutrition to high-risk groups, while also contributing to the development of diet strategies beneficial to the target clinical population.

Maternal nutrition matters on birth outcomes during and after prenatal alcohol insults

It is a conundrum that not all alcohol consumption during pregnancy results in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. The individual maternal nutritional status may contribute to this conflicting outcome. Chow used in many animal studies have shown the adverse effects of alcohol, but a formulated energy-dense diet has only minimal effects on fetal and neonatal development. This discrepancy is a result of the differences in diet quality, impacting overall maternal nutritional status. Energy-dense diet and DHA-supplemented diet will be used to establish birth outcomes, including fetal and neonatal brain development during and after prenatal alcohol insults. The focus of this presentation is to understand metabolic derangements of fetal alcohol exposure; to examine maternal diet qualities on fetal and offspring neural tissue development; and to offer support to vulnerable populations in order to reduce the severity of the signs and symptoms of fetal alcohol exposure.