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Nick Bellissimo, PhD

I am an Associate Professor in the School of Nutrition at Ryerson University. My research focuses on the physiological and environmental factors that contribute to appetite and energy imbalances in children with the goal of providing a foundation for advice on diet composition, physical activity, and environment in preventing and managing overeating. I am the recipient of the Dean’s Scholarly, Research and Creative Activity Award (2017), Sue Williams Excellence in Teaching Award (2016), and Dean’s Teaching Award (2014). I am also a member of several journal editorial boards, scientific adviser to government agencies and institutes, and the food industry.



Neil Brett, PhD

I am a Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Nutrition at Ryerson University. I received my PhD from the School of Human Nutrition at McGill University in 2017. My PhD research looked at how vitamin D interventions in young children effected vitamin D status as well as bone and muscle health. During my PhD I received multiple awards and won research competitions including: The American Society for Nutrition’s Clinical Emerging Leader Award (2017), Young Investigator Awards from The International Conference on Children’s Bone Health (2017) and The Canadian Musculoskeletal Conference (2016), winner of The American Society for Nutrition’s Emerging Leaders in Nutrition Poster Competition (2016 and 2017) as well as the Canadian Nutrition Society’s Poster Competition (2017) and a finalist for The American Society for Nutrition’s Graduate Student Research Award (2015). As a postdoc, my research now focuses on the impact of food and nutrients on appetite, energy balance and cognition in children and adults. This work is designed to inform future nutrition and health recommendations in an effort to improve health and wellbeing across the lifespan.



Jennifer Lee, BSc, BASc

I am in my final year of the Nutrition and Food program at Ryerson University and am the NExT Lab manager. I completed my Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Psychology at McMaster University. My previous research looked at declining cognitive performance and sensory functions in mice with neurodegenerative disorders. I joined ND Labs to enhance my learning experience and develop hands-on research skills. I had the opportunity to lead the study ‘Effects of Potatoes and Other Carbohydrates Consumed at Breakfast on Cognition, Glycaemia and Satiety in Children.’ I presented the findings at Experimental Biology in April 2017 in Chicago, IL, USA. We found that French fry consumption enhanced verbal declarative memory in 9-14 yr old children. In May 2017, I received the Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism Undergraduate Research Award for this work. I am currently assisting in many ongoing projects in ND labs while simultaneously performing my duties as Lab Manager.


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Terence Boateng, BSc, BASc

I am a current BASc student in the Nutrition and Food program at Ryerson University. I hold an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from the University of Waterloo, and am a CSEP Certified Exercise Physiologist. As a member of ND labs I have had opportunities to assist in multiple studies, including a cross-sectional study examining the validity and reliability of four different types of body composition assessment tools. Recently I have worked on studies examining the effect of different dietary carbohydrates at breakfast on memory, cognition, glycemic response and satiety in children. In addition to my role at ND labs, I am an assistant manager of NExT Lab where I am involved in running fitness, metabolic and body composition tests on varsity athletes and community members.


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Michaela Kucab, BASc

I am a current BASc student in the Nutrition and Food program at Ryerson University. As an assistant manager of NExT lab, I am involved in providing services such as physical fitness, energy expenditure and body composition testing to varsity athletes and the community. Previously, I was involved in a cross-sectional study examining the validity and reliability of four different types of body composition assessment tools. I was also involved in research studies examining the effect of different dietary carbohydrates on glycemic response, cognition and satiety in children. Currently, I will be leading a study examining the effect of high-intensity interval exercise and chocolate milk on glycemic response, subjective appetite and cognition in children. I am striving to pursue a career in sports nutrition and pediatric health.




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Taylor Polecrone, BBA

I am a second-year undergraduate student in the Nutrition and Food program at Ryerson University. Before Ryerson, I studied at Wilfrid Laurier University and obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration with a minor in Psychology. A few years after graduation I decided to pursue my passion and study nutrition. At ND Labs I look forward to learning more about nutrition research, NExT lab testing services and developing hands-on skills.