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The Sloboda Lab is comprised of postdoctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students with various educational backgrounds, such as biochemistry, physiology, nutrition and the life sciences. Their breadth of knowledge in their respective projects offer a different perspective on the critical relationship between a mothers diet during pregnancy and its profound effect on offspring development and later life health.
Dr. Tatiane Ribeiro

Tatiane is a postdoctoral fellow that completed her PhD at the University of Marigna in Brazil investigating the impacts of maternal exposure to an environmental chemical on glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity in both mothers and offspring, and how exercise during pregnancy, had a positive impact on moderating the negative metabolic effects of maternal obesity. She is currently investigating the early origins of unhealthy aging and susceptibility to infection, and whether host-microbial interactions during key developmental windows (including pregnancy) contribute to accelerated aging and metabolic disease.

Dr. Tatiane Ribeiro
Dr. Kate Kennedy
Dr. Kate Kennedy
kennek6@mcmaster.ca; Twitter: @katekennedy

Kate is a postdoctoral fellow studying host-microbe interactions including the role of the microbiome in maternal adaptations to pregnancy, neonatal microbial colonization, and susceptibility to infection. Kate previously completed her PhD in the Sloboda Lab at McMaster University and her MSc at the University of Waterloo. Kate’s postdoctoral research investigating perinatal host-microbiome factors that influence Group B Strep colonization and infection is supported by the Molly Towell Perinatal Research Foundation.

Christian Bellissimo
bellisc@mcmaster.ca; Twitter: @CJBellissimo

Christian is a PhD Candidate studying the affects of maternal obesity on the development of the maternal-fetal interface. Christian graduated from the Honours Life Sciences Co-op Program at McMaster in 2017, completing his final work placement and undergraduate thesis in the Sloboda lab, investigating the effects of maternal obesity on placental inflammation. In his Doctoral work, Christian will investigate the impacts of maternal obesity and inflammation on early placental development, aiming to discover how early changes to placentation prime offspring later life disease risk.

Christian Bellissimo.jpg
Patrycja Jazwiec
Patrycja Jazwiec
jazwiepa@mcmaster.ca; Twitter: @PatrycjaJazwiec

Patrycja is a PhD student studying the impact of paternal obesity on placental development. Patrycja graduated from McMaster University in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology & Genetics (Hons, co-op stream) and a minor in Biochemistry. As a senior thesis project student in the Sloboda lab, Patrycja examined the impacts of maternal undernutrition on offspring ovarian development. For her doctoral work, Patrycja is investigating the pathways that regulate placental development in the context of paternal obesity.

Erica Yeo
yeoe@mcmaster.ca; Twitter: @EricaYeo3

Erica is a PhD student that graduated from McMaster University with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry. Having completed her undergraduate thesis in the Sloboda Lab studying the role of serotonin signalling in fetal pancreatic development in the context of maternal obesity, her PhD thesis will investigate the the role of the gut microbiome in maternal metabolic adaptations to pregnancy.

Erica Yeo.png
Megan Schuck
Megan Schuck 

Megan is a Master’s student who graduated from McMaster University in 2022 with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry. She completed her undergraduate thesis in the Sloboda lab investigating the role of the maternal gut microbiota in mediating pancreatic 𝛽-cell adaptations to pregnancy. For her masters project, she will investigate the role of the maternal gut microbiota in mediating maternal intestinal immune changes during pregnancy.

Jordan Chin

Jordan is the Project Coordinator for the Art of Creation. She graduated from McMaster University with a Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours), completing her undergraduate thesis in the Sloboda Lab. During this time, she studied how to improve adolescents' mental health literacy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Jordan is passionate about using interdisciplinary lenses to make health information and research more accessible to the public. She is currently investigating how art-based knowledge translation can facilitate public learning and uptake of DOHaD concepts.

Jordan Chin
Chloe Rexdiemer
Chloe Rexdiemer

Chloe is a Research Assistant & Marketing Coordinator for the Art of Creation (AoC) where she primarily manages the AoC’s social media accounts and acts as an assistant facilitator for AoC focus groups. She is currently in her fourth year at McMaster University pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour (Honours), and recently completed a Certificate in Digital Marketing from McMaster University Continuing Education.

Lab Alumni

Anastasia Chouvalova (MSc; 2019-2021)

Katherine Kennedy (PhD; 2016-2021)

Dr. Luseadra McKerracher (PDF; 2017-2021)

Jessica Breznik (PhD; 2016-2020)

Violet Patterson (MSc; 2016-2018)

Dr. Johanna Selvaratman (PDF; 2016-2017)

Wajiha Gohir (MSc; 2014-2016 )

Kaitlyn Chan (MSc; 2013-2015)

Michael Tsoulis (MSc; 2012-2014)​​​
 

Undergraduate Members

Howard Luo, Biochemistry

Jaskiran Bains, BDC

Noah Brittain, BDC         

Vivien Trinh, BDC

 Inara Rattani, BDC

Gursimran Deol, Life Sciences

Madison McKellar, Integrated Sciences

Katherine Hutchinson, Integrated Sciences

Emily Xiao, Health Sciences 

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