Elena Maria Comelli, PhD

Elena Comelli

Department of Nutritional Sciences

Dr. Elena Comelli, PhD is an Assistant Professor and holds the Lawson Family Chair in Microbiome Nutrition Research at the Department of Nutritional Sciences and the Joannah and Brian Lawson Centre for Child Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto. Since 2015, Dr. Comelli is also Adjunct Professor at the Department of Kinesiology at Brock University. Dr. Comelli graduated at the University of Milano, Italy, and then obtained her PhD from ETH, Zurich, Switzerland with a research on probiotics for oral health.


Afterwards, she did a postdoc at the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, USA, working in the field of glycomics. In 2003, Dr. Comelli returned to Switzerland and worked as a project manager at Nestlé Research Centre in Lausanne. In 2007, she joined the University of Toronto and in 2014 she was named the Lawson Family Chair in Microbiome Nutrition Research.


Dr. Comelli’s group investigates the relationship between diet and the gut microbiome, including regulation of intestinal responses, such as via microRNA. The lab has a strong focus on early stages of life and nutritional programming of the gut microbiome for long-term health. Elena is also an Associate Editor for the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism.


Students are priority. I am very honoured to have received this award, and I am grateful to all the excellent students whom I had the opportunity to teach and mentor.