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Congratulations and welcome to Dr. Heather Blewett, who will become CCARM’s newest Principal Investigator on May 2, 2011. Dr. Blewett will be joining as a Research Scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

About Dr. Blewett:

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Dr. Blewett earned a Bachelor of Human Ecology with a major in Foods and Nutrition and a minor in Business from the University of Manitoba in 1999. She immediately entered the graduate program and completed her PhD under the supervision of Dr. Carla Taylor in the Department of Human Nutritional Sciences in 2006. Her PhD thesis explored the effects of zinc deficiency on T-cell maturation and function in the growing rat. She went on to work with the leading nutritional immunologist in Canada: Dr. Catherine Field at the University of Alberta (2006-2008). During this time, she expanded both her nutritional and immunological training by studying the importance of amino acids and fatty acids for intestinal and immune defense against E. Coli using a novel piglet model. She also investigated the effect of a “natural” trans fat called vaccenic acid on the pro-inflammatory tendency of immune cells in a rat model of obesity. After leaving the University of Alberta, she joined Peter Zahradka’s lab in the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine to gain experience using clinical trials to test the efficacy of Canadian agricultural crops in the treatment of vascular disease (2009-2011).

As a Research Scientist with Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, Dr. Blewett looks forward to establishing a group with human nutrition clinical trial capabilities specializing in the effects of food products on immune function in the context of chronic diseases (ie. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes), infectious disease and allergy.