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Dr. Robert Bertolo

{Dr. Robert Bertolo}
Dr. Robert Bertolo

Assistant professor
Biochemistry

Research interests
A Canadian Research Chair in Human Nutrition, Dr. Bertolo plans to research the nutritional requirements of the gut, designing treatments targeted specifically for the challenged intestine and its subsequent impacts on the body. His long-term goal involves the development of a fetal programming model. His research will determine how a mother's nutritional deficiencies during pregnancy impact the long-term health of the baby, with particular interest in conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. Ultimately, this new appointment at Memorial University will provide Dr. Bertolo with "an opportunity to pursue fresh avenues of research" for himself and his students.

Experience
From high school through to today, Dr. Bertolo has always had a fascination with research. His drive to conquer new territory encouraged his pursuit of an arts degree, and persisted as he then went on to study nutrition and biochemistry. As a graduate student, he studied mineral competition for transport in the gut, later moving to Alberta to work with piglets in the exploration of how the intestine modulates the delivery of amino acids to the blood, and investigating the amino acid requirements of the gut itself. This research, while focused primarily on neo-natal growth and nutrition, also has significant implications for the pork industry.

Background
Born and raised in "beautiful" Thunder Bay, Ontario, Dr. Bertolo completed an arts degree, with a minor in biochemistry, at McMaster University. When his undergraduate thesis led him to a nutritional biochemistry lab, he decided to pursue his master's degree at the University of Guelph, completing research in mineral metabolism. He later earned his PhD at the universities of Guelph and Alberta, followed by three years of post-doctoral work in the area. In 2002, he was awarded a prestigious Canadian Research Chair in Human Nutrition, and accepted a position as assistant professor in Biochemistry at Memorial University. He is currently teaching a fourth-year course in nutrition, and is working on building his lab from scratch.