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Sylvia Santosa, PhD

Professor, Department of Health, Kinesiology & Applied Physiology
Canada Research Chair Tier II, Clinical Nutrition

Sylvia Santosa, PhD
Dr. Santosa conducts multidisciplinary research on the metabolic and cellular mechanisms of disease development and progression of obesity
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 5841
Availability: Dr. Santosa is currently recruiting MSc and PhD students and a postdoctoral fellow for her research program. Please contact us at if interested.

For more information on research and lab visit:
ORCID: 0000-0001-5814-6086


Postdoctoral Fellowship, Mayo Clinic
PhD Nutritional Science, McGill University
RD, Member of the College of Dietitians of Ontario
BASc (Honours), Applied Human Nutrition, University of Guelph


As a Canada Research Chair in Clinical Nutrition, Dr. Santosa conducts cutting edge research to identify the long-term effects of obesity, from the cell to the entire body.

Weight is a concern of millions of Canadians both on an individual and societal level. Despite existing public policy and individual weight interventions, we are still “growing” as a population with more Canadians overweight than not.

The metabolic and cellular mechanisms of why some overweight individuals develop diseases while others do not are not fully understood. Furthermore, in people with diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, we do not fully understand how obesity affects the progression or treatment. Obesity treatment itself remains ineffective as most people who lose weight eventually gain it back. Dr. Santosa applies techniques in biology, physiology and nutrition to investigate and understand the underlying effects of obesity that contribute to weight gain and disease. 

Results from her studies will promote the development of better public health interventions from disease prevention to management. 

Dr. Santosa's research has been/is currently funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Canadian Foundation for Dietetic Research, the Quebec Bioimaging Network, the PERFORM Centre, a Canada Research Chair, Tier 2, NSERC, and CIHR.

Current Projects

Currently recruiting graduate and postdoctoral trainees to join our research team.

Projects in the lab include:
-Examining regional differences in fat tissue in bariatric surgery patients
-Investigating differences in early vs late onset obesity
-Determining protein requirements in bariatric surgery patients
-Using imaging techniques to examine regional fat use and substrate oxidation

Trainees will learn cutting-edge techniques in human research, cellular and molecular biology, physiology, and nutrition. Techniques applied include flow cytometry, cell culture, PCR, body composition (DXA, CT, MRI), and nutritional analysis.   

Active Affiliations

Researcher, PERFORM Centre
Researcher, Sacre Coeur Hospital
Associate Researcher, CRIUGM

Editorial Board Member Activities

2019-present    International Journal of Obesity
2014-present    Scientific Reports

Professional Memberships

Canadian Nutrition Society
College of Dietitians of Ontario
The Obesity Society
Canadian Obesity Network
Société Québécoise de Lipidologie, de Nutrition, et de Metabolisme
Réseau de Recherche en Santé Cardiométabolique, Diabète, et Obésité
Diabète Québec

Teaching activities

EXCI 445

Nutrition in Sports and Exercise


Selected publications

Turner L, Santosa S. Putting ATM to BED: How adipose tissue macrophages are affected by bariatric surgery, exercise, and dietary fatty acids. Advances in Nutrition. 2021:12;1893-910.

Delaney KZ, Spatari L, Henderson M, Santosa S§*, Mathieu ME§*. Children with Obesity in pre-puberty or early puberty have lower lipid oxidation but greater reliance on lipid as a substrate during exercise: A QUALITY study. Pediatric Exercise Science. 2021:33;32-9.

Wang C, Murphy J, Delaney KZ, Morais JA, Tsoukas M, Lowry DA, Mutch DM, Santosa S§. No association between rs174537 FADS1 genotype and immune cell profiles in human abdominal and femoral subcutaneous adipose tissue. Adipocyte. 2021:10;124-30.

Delaney KZ, Dam V, Murphy J, Morais JA, Pescarus R, Garneau P, Santosa S. A reliable, reproducible flow cytometry protocol for immune cell quantification in human adipose tissue. Anal Biochem. 2021:613;113951.

Murphy J, Delaney KZ, Dam V, Tam BT, Khor N, Tsoukas MA, Morais JA, Santosa S§. Sex affects regional variations in subcutaneous adipose tissue T cells but not macrophages in adults with obesity. Obesity. 2020:28;2310-4.

Tam BT, Murphy J, Khor N, Morais JA, Santosa S§. Subcutaneous adipose tissue acetyl CoA regulation, mitochondrial integrity and histone modification are different in females with childhood vs adult development of excess adiposity. Endocrinology. 2020:161;1-15.

Tam BT, Morais JA, Santosa S§. Obesity and Aging: Two sides of the same coin. Obesity Reviews. 2020; 1-21.

Murphy J, Bacon S, Morais JA, Tsoukas M, Santosa S§. Intra-abdominal Adipose Tissue Quantification by Alternative vs Reference Methods: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Obesity. 2019:27;1115-22.

Murphy J, Moullec G, Santosa S§. Factors associated with adipocyte size reduction after weight loss interventions for overweight and obesity: a systemic review and meta-regression. Metabolism. 2017:67;31-40.

Dam V, Sikdar T, Santosa S§. From Neutrophils to macrophages: Differences in regional adipose tissue depots. Obesity Reviews. 2016:17;1-17.

Please see CV for complete list of publications.

Needed - Research Participants Like You!

Calling All Volunteers!

Did you know that those who participate in research studies are most likely to benefit from the findings? That is because the findings are based on the measures and outcomes done in participants!

We are currently recruiting research participants for several studies. 

Why participate?
-In participating in our studies you would receive interesting information about your own health.
-You would be advancing science and scientific discoveries.

If interested, please contact or x4451

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