Errol B. Marliss


Errol B. Marliss, M.D., FRCPC

Professor, Garfield Weston Professor of Nutrition, Department of Medicine
Director, MUHC / Royal victoria Hospital Nutrition Support Service 
Director, Crabtree Nutrition Laboratories
MUHC Research Institute, E02.7230, 1001 Decarie Blvd, Montreal, QC, H4A 3J1

Tel: 514-934-1934 x35026

errol.marliss [at]

Biographical Sketch

Physician with a 4+ decade research interest in protein metabolism and nutrition, especially in diabetes, obesity and intravenous feeding.  Does clinical and basic research, patient care, and teaching. Founding Director (1982-2013) of the McGill Nutrition & Food Science Centre, Director of Nutrition Support Service and the RVH Clinical Investigation Unit (1984-2012). Published 232 research articles, 346 abstracts and 44 chapters and reviews.  Supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Canadian Diabetes Association, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, National Institutes of Health and other foundations.  Has long championed upgrading the nutrition knowledge of physicians and has organized and taught nutrition courses and topics to students, residents and practicing physicians. He has supervised 27 PhD and MD postdoctoral fellows, 22 with subsequent academic positions.

MD from the University of Alberta (1964) was followed by internal medicine residency at the RVH, then 3 PDFs at Boston University (Dr. A.S. Relman), the Joslin Research Laboratory (Harvard, Dr. G.F. Cahill) and the University of Geneva (Dr. A.E. Renold).  After 10 years on faculty at the University of Toronto, he became Professor of Medicine and Garfield Weston Chair of Nutrition at McGill (Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism).


- Human Research: protein metabolism, glucose turnover, insulin resistance, insulin and nutrient signaling, whole-body and tissue fuel homeostasis, muscle metabolism, muscle cell culture, obesity, diabetes, Type 2 diabetes genetics
- Clinical: in- and outpatient nutrition support

Research or Clinical Activities

Protein metabolism in obesity and diabetes: I began by defining the roles of growth hormone and glucagon in the metabolic responses to prolonged total fasting in obese humans, and also showed muscle release and splanchnic uptake of glutamine occur and decrease in fasting. I helped define the glucose-alanine cycle. I defined that it was protein supply, not the hormonal response, that is the determinant of protein-sparing in all-protein diets. Drs. R. Gougeon, J. Morais and I showed protein metabolism to be deranged concurrently with the magnitude of hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetes (t2D).  We used the euglycemic- isoaminoademic, hyperinsulinemic clamp in young and elderly adults and in t2D with different levels of glycemic control.  We showed that insulin can stimulate protein synthesis in normal persons, and that there is insulin resistance to this effect in obesity,t2D, aging and cancer (with Dr. S Chevalier). Molecular studies of this regulation in muscle are ongoing in all studies.  We devised a simulated fed steady-state to test for maximum protein anabolism in different states.. Recent important observations in T2DM are that this “high-protein” input (a) does not worsen insulin resistance of glucose and (b) overcomes resistance of protein anabolism. The same occur in obesity. Results have implications for defining normal protein metabolism and its alterations, and ultimately for optimizing protein intakes. Primary cultures of muscle satellite cells and myotubes from t2D studied using next-generation sequencing show promise for identifying new abnormalities and differences during differentiation.  In our current study “A genomics approach to study molecular heterogeneity in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes and its complications”, we do the deep metabolic phenotyping to accompany multiple ‘omics analyses in blood and muscle.

Selected Recent Publications

Burgos, S.A., Chandurkar, V., Tsoukas, M.A., Chevalier, S., Morais, J.A., Lamarche M., Marliss, E.B. Insulin Resistance of Protein Anabolism accompanies that of Glucose Metabolism in Lean, Glucose-tolerant Offspring of Persons with Type 2 Diabetes. BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care 2016; 4:e000312. doi:10.1136/bmjdrc-2016-000312

Labonte, C., Farsijani, S., Marliss, E.B., Gougeon, R., Morais, J.A., Combs, T.P., Pereira, S., Bassil, M., Winter, A., Murphy, J., Combs, T.P., Chevalier, S. Plasma amino acids versus conventional predictors of insulin resistance measured by the hyperinsulinemic, euglycemic clamp. Journal of the Endocrine Society, online Apr 27 2017. doi: 10.1210/js.2016-1108

Neseliler, S, Hu, W., Zacchia M., Larcher, K., Dadar, M., Scala, S.G., Lamarche, M., Zeighami, Y., Stotland, S.C., Laroque, M., Marliss, E.B., Dagher, A. Neurocognitive and Hormonal Correlates of Voluntary Weight Loss in Humans, Cell metabolism, online
Publication: 29, 1–11, January 8, 2019

PubMed Publications – E. B. Marliss 


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