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Dr. Mohammed Moghadasian

Dr. Mohammed Moghadasian

Principal Investigator
Pathology Research Laboratory, Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine

Department of Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, University of Manitoba


Research Focus

Dr. Mohammed Moghadasian’s laboratory is interested in examining the efficacy of functional foods on experimental models of cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes and other metabolic disorders. Our research interest focuses on various dietary agents, viz. phytosterols, flaxseed, flaxseed oil, fish oil, “designer” oil, Saskatoon berry, sea buckthorn berry, and wild rice on cardiovascular disease, diabetes and graft function in animal models. Recently, our research team initiated developing cardiovascular healthy burgers, using the combination of dietary agents. At present we are concentrating the following research project, in order to develop a potential cardiovascular healthy functional food.

Specific oils low in n-6 to n-3 fatty acid ratio may reduce cardiovascular risks

This study aims to demonstrate the cardiovascular benefits from diets low in ratio of n-6 to n-3 fatty acids. Humans need both n-6 and n-3 fatty acids for normal body function and development. Major sources of n-3 fatty acids are fish oil and flaxseed oil, while most of vegetable oils are rich in n-6 fatty acids. It is widely accepted that different types of fatty acids elicit specific physiological and biochemical responses in the body. Canadians are consuming a diet high in n-6 fatty acids and low in n-3 fatty acids, which could be contributing to the increased risks for some chronic diseases. Therefore, current recommendations suggest increasing intake of foods rich in n-3 fatty acids such as fish and flaxseed oil. With this regard, we are investigating overall cardiovascular benefits of diets supplemented with special oils low in n-6 and high in n-3 fatty acids in experimental animals.

Plant derived substances may benefit transplant patients

Dr. Moghadasian’s research team has extended their research activities to investigate whether dietary agents such as flaxseed oil or plant sterols may reduce side-effects and increase efficacy of commonly used drugs in heart transplant subjects. One of these drugs is cyclosporine which can increase blood lipid levels and adversely affect graft function over time. Research activities in Dr. Moghadasian’s laboratory investigate how plant sterols or flaxseed oil may interact with cyclosporine in rats after heart transplant procedures.

Developing cardiovascular-healthy beef burgers

There is an increase in the prevalence of chronic disease in Canada. Studies have shown a correlation between energy consumption, excessive fat intake and obesity. A reduction of intake saturated fat and cholesterol, which has been shown to increase the risk for atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases, is now a worldwide recommendation. One of the main sources of saturated fats in the human diet is from red meats. Canadians consume more red meat than any other protein source, mostly in the form of fast food burgers. Consumption of pulses and flaxseed oil has been shown to have a positive impact on cardiovascular disease, diabetes, blood pressure, blood cholesterol and weight management. Many pulses have been used to create functional foods such as baked goods, bread, tortilla, pasta, crackers, beverages, as well as meat products. With this background, a study designed to develop cardiovascular healthy burgers, using various combination of dietary agents, viz. flaxseed oil, fish oil and “designer oil” and different percentage of binders such as bread crumbs, whole wheat flour, and black bean flour.

Wild rice and cardiovascular disease

Wild rice (Zizania Spp.) was a sacred food for native Canadians; its grain has been used as a staple food and the hay as a carbon source by native people for perhaps some 10,000 years. Nutritional analysis showed that wild rice is rich in minerals, vitamins, protein, starch, dietary fibre and various antioxidant phytochemicals; while, it is low in fat. Wild rice has been recognized as a whole grain by the US Food and Drug Administration. The Manitoba government recognized wild rice as special crop and is one of cereal crops native to Canada. It is currently sold in the Canadian market place and considered as a health-promoting food. Recently we have reported the lipid-lowering properties of wild rice. We are in the process of establishing the mechanism of action of wild rice in exerting the cardiovascular benefits in experimental mice model.

Saskatoon Berry and diabetes

The rapid increase in the prevalence of diabetes mellitus (DM) becomes a major health and economic burden for most countries in the world. Prolonged treatment is often required for diabetic patients. Previous studies demonstrated that cyanidin glycans reduced oxidative stress and apoptosis in cultured vascular endothelial cells. Saskatoon berries contain abundant cyanidin glycans. Our team members in collaboration with Scientists from Health Science Centre (HSC), studying the anti-diabetic effects of Saskatoon berry on leptin receptor-deficient (db/db) animal model.

Sea buckthorn and cardiovascular disease, diabetes

Sea buckthorn (SBT) is widely used for its health promoting activity in traditional medicine of Asia and European countries. It is currently domesticated in most part of the world including Canada due to its nutritional and medicinal properties. The effects of SBT and its derived fractions on inflammation, platelet aggregation, oxidation injures, and protective effect on liver, skin, and mucosa has been reported. Recently we initiated a pilot study to investigate the hypoglycaemic and anti-antherogic activity of fruits, seeds and leaves of SBT. The results of the pilot study were encouraging. Currently our research team investigates the mechanism of activity of this potentially “super-fruit” on glucose metabolism in diabetic mice as well on cholesterol lowering / metabolism in mouse models.

Why is this work important?

We have many years of experience in working with animal models of human heart disease to investigate the mechanisms of action of functional foods and other food products on exerting cardiovascular benefits in experimental animals. The studies in our laboratory will improve the scientific knowledge on functional foods and their benefits. Our lab research is very unique in that we are studying important functional foods; some of them are native to Manitoba, Canada. We are providing the vital pathological service to many researchers and our collaborators at St. Boniface Hospital Research, and others.

What techniques and equipment are used in this laboratory?

Our research team utilizes well known animal models which closely resemble human disease of hypercholesterolemia and heart attack. Our laboratory is equipped with advanced instruments to test our hypotheses. Our lab research mainly focuses on studying lipids and their components in blood and other tissues of animals using standard laboratory producers. The routine lab techniques such as western blotting, RT-PCR, Immuno-histochemistry is utilized to investigate the key mechanisms of action of several functional foods that are under investigation in our laboratory.

About Dr. Mohammed H. Moghadasian

Dr.Mohammed H. Moghadasian is a Professor and Principal Investigator in Department of Food and Human Nutritional Sciences and CCARM, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada. Before joining to the University of Manitoba and CCARM, he worked as Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia, BC, Canada and Senior Research Scientist at Forbes Medi-Tech Inc, BC, Canada. He obtained his DVM degree in veterinary medicine from Shiraz University, Iran and M. Sc., in Pharmacology & Therapeutics from University of British Columbia, BC, Canada. Later, he completed his Ph.D. degree in Pathology & Laboratory Medicine in the same University.

His major research area is functional foods and metabolic disorders. He has published more about 100 research papers, 5 book chapters and a book. He has presented more than 70 papers in the National and International Conferences/Symposia/Seminars/Workshops and 32 invited lectures in International Meetings. He has trained several post docs, graduate and under graduate students. He has been awarded several awards including Centrum Foundation New Scientist award from the Canadian Society for Nutritional Sciences for Outstanding Researcher, Margaret Becklake Award, awarded, CIHR young investigator forum and University of Manitoba 2006 – Students Teacher Recognition award are few is worthy to mention. He is one of the pioneer researchers in Canada to work on cardiovascular benefits of phytosterols.

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Mohammed Moghadasian

Office: (204) 235-3934
Laboratory: (204) 235-3954
Fax: (204) 237-4018



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Awards Established/Recipients

Mohammed Moghadasian Award for Best Project in Cardiovascular Field, given to a graduate student selected by the Award Committee of the Canadian Nutrition Society (Established in 2010)

2010 Recipient: Ms. JoAnne Arcand, Department of Nutrition, University of Toronto

2011 Recipient: Ms. L. Jane Paterson, RD, Department of Nutrition, University of Toronto

2012 Recipient: Ms. Melissa Glier, Department of Nutrition, University of British Columbia

2013 Recipient: Mr. Dylan Mackay, Department of Human Nutritional Sciences, University of Manitoba

2014 Recipient: Mr. Isaac Streit, University of Waterloo

2015 Recipient: Ms. Yanan Wang, Department of Human Nutritional Sciences, University of Manitoba

2016 Recipient: Ms. Benedicte Tremblay, School of Nutrition, Laval University

2017 Recipient: Ms. Paulina Aldana Hernandez, Department of Nutrition, University of Alberta

2018 Recipient: Ms. Janie Allaire, Université Laval


Kabo Masisi

  • Finalist, Nestle Nutrition Student and Trainee Oral Competition & Recipient, Christine Gagnon Travel Award, Canadian Nutrition Society Annual Conference, Gatineau, 2016

Ramandeep Kaur

  • Recipient of Frank and Jeanne Plett Endowment Studentship for M.Sc., 2018

Dr. Moghadasian’s laboratory would like to gratefully acknowledge the following funding agencies and foundations:

  • CIHR
  • Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
  • ARDI
  • Chinese Industry Government of Saudi Arabia
  • Huazhong Agricultural University, China
  • International Nutrition Research Inc. 
  • Manitoba Health Research Council
  • Manitoba Rural Adaptation Council Inc.
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council 
  • St. Boniface Hospital Foundation
  • University of Manitoba


Dr. Moghadasian’s research team is greatly thankful to all local, provincial, national and international funding agencies as named above for their generous research fund. We are also grateful to St. Boniface Hospital Foundation for providing infrastructural facilities for performing first class research and providing a wonderful work place.

Services Provided

Pathology Research Laboratory at St. Boniface Hospital Research is pleased to provide the following services to both industry and academia per fee-for-service contract:

a) Histology/Pathology services on all types of tissues
b) Pre-clinical investigations
c) Nutrient and drug toxicology
d) Pharmacokinetic studies

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