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Kristine G. Koski

Associate Professor
T: 514-398-7845
F: 514-398-7739
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Degrees
BSc (University of Washington – Seattle)
MSc (University of Washington – Seattle)
PhD (University of California - Davis)
PDF in Maternal and Child Nutrition (University of California – Davis)

Awards and Recognition
2010-11 Frost and Sullivan Technology Innovation Award
2009-10 Genesis Award, Centre Québecois de Valorisation des Biotechnologies
1990      McGill Teaching Award
1984-88 American Institute of Nutrition/Nestle Fellowship in Maternal and Child Nutrition

Active Affiliations
Current McGill affiliations include serving as a member of the FQRNT Centre for Host-Parasite Interactions (CHPI) and as a member of the Advisory Board for McGill’s Institute for Global Food Security.  In the recent past, Dr Koski was an expert panelist for the National Institutes of Health (USA) and the Eunice Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (2012-2013)> Previously she was a scientific advisor to both the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences (USA) (2009) and Health Canada (2007-2011); the purpose of these later committees was to updating and harmonize US and Canadian pregnancy guidelines.  She is currently a member of an NSERC grant panel review committee and  formerly was a member of the CIHR-Proof of Principle review panel and the Advisory Board for the Tri-council Policy Statement on Ethical Considerations Concerning Research Involving Humans from 1999-2004.

Current Research
Dr Koski’s research focuses on advancing our understanding of the importance of maternal and child nutrition in Canada and internationally. She is exploring (1) the impact of diet and exercise on maternal weight gain and infant birth weight and (2) the early biochemical determinants of fetal growth and their relationship with infant birth weight. Her international research program in Panama examines the interrelationship among infections, nutrition and child growth and in Guatemala she is exploring how subclinical mastitis influences breast milk composition and early infant growth. 

Limiting excess weight gain in health pregnant women: importance of energy intakes, physical activity and adherence to gestational weight gain guidelines.  Recent publications have shown that compliance with current gestational weight gain (GWG) guidelines increases the likelihood that women will avoid postpartum weight retention.  Contributing to these lowered GWGs is a physical activity program that emphasizes walking and lowered energy intakes. In this latest CIHR funded team project, we will recruit 800 pregnant women to be followed throughout pregnancy. The intent of this longitudinal study is to explore how physical activity and diet may be modified by several psychosocial factors during pregnancy and how these variables in turn influence GWG in each trimester. 

Determinants of Fetal Growth and Infant Birth Weight.  Using biobanked amniotic fluid, Dr Koski and colleagues are exploring the early determinants of pregnancy outcomes.  To date they have established that prematurity and birth of a large-for- gestational age, macrosomic infants are associated with an altered biochemical profile in utero.  In the case of GDM, there is early evidence that elevated amniotic fluid glucose occurs by the 2nd trimester, which suggests that earlier diagnosis of GDM may be required if GDM complications are to be limited.  Ongoing studies continue to investigate other possible biomarkers for several pregnancy outcomes.

Maternal and Child Nutrition in Developing Countries: Panama and Guatemala

In partnership with several Panamanian agencies, graduate students have been conducting studies to examine how on-going nutrition, health and agricultural programs are influencing maternal and child health, in particular fetal, infant and preschool child growth and protozoa and nematode reinfection rates.  In Guatemala,  research is exploring how maternal stress and previously undiagnosed subclinical mastitis (SCM)  contribute to low birth weights and poor postnatal growth.

Interrelationship Among Nutrition, Infection and Stunting in Protein-Deficient, Nematode Infected Mice. Dr Koski and collaborators from the Institute of Parasitology are exploring how protein deficiency and gastrointestinal nematode infections in pregnant mice contribute to stunting in their offspring. Recent findings show that infection reduced food intake, but elevated selected cytokines that were linked to shorter crown-rump length in the pups. Current studies are investigating the underlying mechanisms of  these two stressors on perinatal  growth and development.

Publications
To view a list of Dr. Koski's publications, click here.