Research and Teaching Facilities

The School of Human Nutrition has a comprehensive inventory of well-equipped laboratories, animal and tissue culture facilities, and computer equipment. In addition to research carried out on campus, Faculty and students conduct research projects throughout Canada and the world. Fundamental research areas include developmental nutrition; trace element metabolism; carbohydrate, protein, lipid and cholesterol metabolism; neurochemistry; nutritional toxicology; clinical nutrition; maternal and child nutrition; nutrition and behaviour; nutritional epidemiology; nutrition in developing countries; nutrition and the environment of Indigenous Peoples; nutritional status assessment. Community nutrition research focuses on diet, health and disease in high-risk populations in Canada and developing countries. Current projects are in the Montreal area, and in communities of Indigenous Peoples, as well as research projects in Latin America and Africa through McGill International.

 

Located on the Macdonald Campus is the Centre for Indigenous Peoples' Nutrition and Environment (CINE). The Centre provides study of the impact of environments on food systems and nutritional status of Indigenous Peoples in Canada and internationally. Emphasis is given to dietary patterns, food composition, nutritional toxicology, ecology and epidemiology.

The Mary Emily Clinical Nutrition Research Unit for human feeding studies is set up at 7 Maple Street on the Macdonald campus. This facility allows the collection of in-depth mechanistic information regarding the flux and metabolism of nutrients to be obtained non-invasively in humans. Several members of the Centre have research laboratories in other teaching hospitals and departments of McGill University in diverse areas of research are pursued, from basic to clinical, involving vitamins, amino acid and protein metabolism, lipid metabolism and disorders, neurochemical effects of nutrients, oncology, and others.

Since their humble beginnings within the School of Household Science in 1907, which focused on training homemakers, the food preparation laboratories have occupied various locations from Glenaladale to the Main building of the original campus, to a home on 7 Maple, to Brittain Hall, and to the basement of the Macdonald Stewart building in 1979.

As the accredited dietetics program grew into the 21st century, food service facility requirements evolved and teaching space and equipment became inadequate.  A large space was renovated in 2010 for the Mary Catherine Freeman Food Laboratories on the upper level of the Centennial Center. The layout and equipment within the food preparation area meet modern industrial standards. 

The adjacent Helen Neilson Culinary Demonstration Room is designed to view and film presentations. 

Sensory evaluation rooms enable the creation of computer generated questionnaires and statistical evaluations of groups of panelists’ assessments of samples presented under controlled environments.  Finally, a simulation room for interviewing training is also available.