Nikhil Pai, Associate Professor (Pediatrics, GI/Nutrition), MD, CNSC, NASPGHAN-F, FAAP, FRCPC

McMaster University | McMaster Children's Hospital

Microbiome in Nutrition Science: Innovations in Research and the Supporters Behind It

In this session, I will review the research I have focused upon these past years that has led to receiving this honour. Specifically, I will discuss our group's work to assess relationships between diet and the gut microbiome, and the unique impacts of this work for paediatrics. I will review the past and ongoing efforts of our group to describe relationships between nutrition and changes in the intestinal microbiota, discern mechanisms of action, and conduct interventional studies to understand how diet can be used to manipulate the microbiome across various disease states. Finally, as the recipient of the 2024 Canadian Nutrition Society's Young Investigator Award, I will briefly discuss my journey and the power of mentorship and sponsorship for junior investigators.

Speaker/Chair Bio:

Dr. Nikhil Pai is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at McMaster University and Staff Physician through the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology at McMaster Children’s Hospital (MCH). He completed medical school at McMaster University, pediatric residency at the Hospital for Sick Children (University of Toronto), and pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition fellowship at Boston Children's Hospital (Harvard Medical School; Physician-Scientist Stream). He is the Medical Lead of the Complex Nutrition Service and Intestinal Rehabilitation Program at MCH and supports a busy clinical inpatient/outpatient/endoscopy practice. Dr. Pai leads an active translational research program focused on the interactions between nutrition and the microbiome. He is an investigator of several clinical trials evaluating the use of the fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) in pediatric inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), anorexia nervosa, and soluble fibre supplementation in pediatric metabolism-associated steatotic liver disease (MASLD). His work has received generous funding (>$21.8M), and he was awarded the 2023 American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN) Stanley Dudrick Research Award and an Ontario Innovation Award for his work on FMT. He shares a patent for his work in urine metabolomics diagnostics for IBD. Dr. Pai is a Member of McMaster University's Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute and the Metabolism, Obesity and Diabetes Research Centre. He is a member of the Pediatric Working Group of the Canadian Malnutrition Task Force, Co-Chair of the Pediatric Nutrition Advisory Committee, Director of the hospital’s Pediatric FMT Stool Bank, and is as an Associate Editor (Nutrition) for the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition.