Dr. Changting Xiao, University of Saskatchewan
Can you describe your area of research and how it is helping address a health-related issue in Saskatchewan?
My research program looks into how our body handles nutrients, especially how the gut processes fats. Bad blood lipids cause cardiovascular disease and strokes. We aim to develop novel strategies towards lowering cardiovascular disease and stroke risks in individuals with metabolic disorders, such as diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome.
What are the most rewarding aspects of your work?
The most rewarding aspect for me is to make new discoveries along with research trainees (MSc and PhD students and research fellows).
What is the most challenging aspect of your work?
It is challenging to see that there is still much unmet need for the care of many with chronic diseases (e.g. diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome) and related complications (e.g. heart diseases, strokes, atherosclerosis). This is especially important for remote, rural, and indigenous communities.
How did you first become interested in this area of research? What inspires you to do the work that you do?
I became interested in research in this area while I was a trainee at University Health Network and the Banting and Best Diabetes Centre at the University of Toronto. The ever-increasing prevalence of chronic metabolic diseases in the past decades has impacted the wellbeing of many Canadians and has become a huge burden to the Canadian healthcare system.
Where is your research headed in the next five years?
I aim to establish a research program that sets a stage for identifying new approaches towards mitigating disease risks for people with compromised metabolic conditions. Identifying novel targets through research to tackle abnormal blood lipids may provide unique opportunities for the treatment and prevention of heart disease and strokes.
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