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.

tati_edited.jpg 2015-9-23-12:1:36
Kate Kennedy
kennek6@mcmaster.ca; Twitter: @katekennedy

Kate is a PhD Candidate studying the role of the gut microbiome in perinatal programming. Formerly of the University of Waterloo (BSc, MSc), her Master’s thesis was an evaluation of molecular methods used in microbiome analysis. From molecular and microbial she is moving to mice (and humans), but not disowning our digestive denizens. In her doctoral research she will study the role of the maternal gut microbiome in mediating offspring disease risk later in life.

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.

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.


Anastasia Chouvalov


Anastasia is a Master’s student in the Bowdish Lab (Department of Pathology & Molecular Medicine) and is working with the Sloboda Lab to study the effects of early life adversity - in the context of a maternal overnutrition - on offspring susceptibility to infection. She graduated from McMaster University in 2015 with a BSc. Life Sciences and completed her BSc. in Nursing in 2017. Her interest in the impact of socioeconomic factors on child health and infection risk stems from her work as a registered nurse in the McMaster Children’s Hospital Emergency Department.

Brianna Kennelly

Brianna completed her undergradatue research thesis in the Sloboda Lab investigating the impact of early life adversity on neonatal markers of infection risk. She will begin her PhD thesis in September 2020, investigating the impact of maternal obesity on HPA mediated changes in infection risk in offspring. 

Lab Alumni

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

Megane Bouchard (Undergraduate Thesis)