Shelly Vanderhout, Nutritional Sciences

Shelly VanderhoutYear of Study: 2
Student’s Name: Shelley Vanderhout
Graduate Department: Nutritional Sciences
Country of Residence: Canada

Why Faculty of Medicine? I'm a registered dietitian and hope to become a clinician scientist. U of T's Faculty of Medicine offers a number of classes and career development opportunities for people with similar goals to mine. I find it helpful to meet other students and faculty who understand my aspirations and are willing to help me along the way.

Why this Department? The Department of Nutritional Sciences at U of T is really diverse. It's interesting and refreshing to be able to see my peers and professors work on important nutrition projects in our community, with other urban centres in Canada, among Indigenous communities, and globally. Many faculty members in this department have made significant contributions to the field of nutrition research and practice, which is inspiring. I'm challenged to set bold goals that I hope will create meaningful change for the health and nutrition of people worldwide.

Current Research Experience: I work with a group called TARGet Kids! ( which is a multidisciplinary research team at St. Michael's Hospital, Sick Kids, and Montreal Children's Hospital. TARGet Kids! is a prospective cohort study of children attending routine care in Canada. We collect nutritional, developmental, lifestyle and growth information, and are able to investigate predictors of child health outcomes. My research is focused on the type of cow's milk children drink (such as skim, 1%, 2%, whole) and how that might affect how they grow and develop. Many children in Canada and worldwide drink cow's milk daily, but recent research findings and current nutrition guidelines disagree on which type is best. I hope to find the best type of cow's milk for child growth, development and nutrition.

Future Education Plans and/or Career Goals: I hope to become a clinician scientist with a special interest in conducting innovative, efficient comparative effectiveness research in paediatric nutrition and obesity prevention. Typical "gold standard" research methods are expensive, can be burdensome on participants, don't always capture representative samples, and take a long time. I hope to work to change the nutrition research landscape by conducting highly efficient, patient centred trials that can be applied to the real world.

Contact Ambassador Shelly Vanderhout