Research

The overarching goal of my research program is to use a multi-disciplinary approach that leverages cutting edge, non-invasive, imaging techniques to study precisely prescribed, mechanistically targeted, lifestyle interventions to prevent and ameliorate cardiovascular dysfunction and disease, with an emphasis on women. A primary focus is on cardiovascular disease in breast cancer survivors, the top causes of death of women in Canada.

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While exercise is a key diagnostic and therapeutic tool, I take a multi-disciplinary approach in my lab to characterize and treat individuals with cardiac and/or oncologic disease. Established and novel magnetic resonance and echocardiographic imaging techniques, cardiopulmonary exercise testing and venipuncture are used to investigate cardiac, vascular and skeletal muscle mechanisms of exercise intolerance and to quantify the therapeutic benefits of targeted clinical exercise and dietary interventions on these systems. Intervention approaches of interest include acute and chronic exercise, calorie-restriction, intermittent fasting, and ketogenic nutrition approaches, and multi-dimensional cardiac rehabilitation.

Ongoing or planned studies:

  1. 3-arm RCT of short-term caloric restriction vs exercise vs usual care shortly before anthracycline treatment in early stage breast cancer to prevent cardiac injury
  2. 2-arm RCT of short-term calorie-restricted, ketogenic diet + exercise during chemotherapy infusion vs usual care in metastatic breast cancer for improving treatment response
  3. Single-arm pilot study of 16:8 time-restricted eating in older, overweight breast cancer survivors for visceral, liver and intermuscular fat and metabolic health
  4. Single-arm effectiveness trial of multi-modal cardiac rehabilitation in breast cancer survivors to improve cardiac and skeletal muscle
  5. Observational study of whole-body fat profile, metabolic health and cardiovascular risk across diagnosis, post-treatment to survivorship in early stage breast cancer

Interests

  • Clinical Exercise Physiology
  • Cardiovascular Physiology, especially in women
  • Cardio-oncology
  • Breast Cancer
  • Chemotherapy
  • Exercise Prescription
  • Skeletal Muscle and Fat