Catherine Chan (PhD, University of British Columbia)

Joint Appointment with Agricultural,  
Food & Nutritional Science
6-126B Health Sciences Innovation Facility East
University of Alberta
Edmonton, AB
Canada T6G 2R3

Tel: 780 492-9939

Research Description

We are interested in fundamental and translational aspects of insulin secretion and action in metabolic diseases, including obesity and type 2 diabetes, in particular, how nutritional status affects these parameters.

In addition, we have a major research interest in improving quality of life for people with type 2 diabetes through development, implementation and evaluation of lifestyle programs focused on nutrition and physical activity (the PANDA project).

Research Highlights: 

  • We discovered the role of uncoupling protein 2 in regulation of insulin secretion from beta-cells and made major contributions to understanding its mechanism of action. 
  • We translated a physical activity program developed for people with type 2 diabetes into a program for the general public and implemented it in PEI workplaces, community programs, secondary and elementary schools. 
  • We studied how consideration of the food environment affects dietary intake and quality in people with type 2 diabetes, as background for the development and implementation of novel lifestyle programs.  Evaluation of this programming (PANDA) centred around a menu plan for 3 months led to significant improvements in blood sugar, blood pressure and lipids and improved adherence to an appropriate diabetes diet.
  • In feeding trials of rats, we have been testing the benefits on glucose homeostasis of foods and food products, such as dried peas, cheese, and vaccenic acid, a fatty acid specific to ruminant products such as meat and milk.  Our published work on peas demonstrates the importance of preparation method on their efficacy.

Selected publications

  • Yang K, Hashemi Z, Han W, Jin A, Yang H, Ozga J, Li L, Chan CB.  Hydrolysis enhances bioavailability of proanthocyanidin-derived metabolites and improves β-cell function in glucose intolerant rats.  J Nutr Biochem. 26:850-859, 2015.  10.1016/j.jnutbio.2015.03.002 article/S0955286315000753
  • Wang X, Chan CB.  N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and insulin secretion.  J Endocrinol. 224: R97-R106, 2015.  doi:10.1530/JOE-14-0581 pubmed/25486966
  • Hashemi Z, Yang K, Yang H, Jin A, Ozga J, Chan CB.  Cooking enhances beneficial effects of pea seed coat consumption on glucose tolerance, incretin and pancreatic hormones in high fat diet-fed rats. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab.  40:323-33, 2015.  doi: 10.1139/apnm-2014-0380 pubmed/25794240
  • Chan CB, Gupta J, Kozicky L, Yang K, Hashemi Z.  Improved glucose tolerance in insulin-resistant rats after pea hull feeding is associated with altered liver lipid metabolism. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab.  39:1112-9, 2014.  DOI:  10.1139/apnm-2014-0054.   Improved glucose tolerance in insulin
  • Salawi H, Ambler KA, Padwal RS, Mager, DR, Chan CB, Ball GDC.  Characterizing severe obesity in children and youth referred for weight management.  BMC Pediatrics 14:154, 2014.  doi:10.1186/1471-2431-14-154 pubmed/24947311
  • Soria Contreras DC, Bell RC, McCargar L, Chan CB.  Feasibility  and efficacy of menu planning combined with individual counseling to improve health outcomes and dietary adherence in people with type 2 diabetes: a pilot study.  Can J Diabetes 38:320-325, 2014.  DOI: 10.1016/j.jcjd.2014.03.009 pubmed/25175312
  • Deng F, Zhang A, Chan CB.  Acculturation, dietary acceptability and diabetes management among Chinese in North America.  Front Endocrinol 4:108, 2013.  doi:10.3389/fendo.2013.00108 pubmed/23986745
  • Meeprom A, Sompong W, Chan CB, Yibchok-anun S, Adisakwattana S.  Isoferulic acid inhibits fructose- and glucose-mediated protein glycation in vitro.  Molecules 18:6439-54, 2013. doi: 10.3390/molecules18066439.pubmed/23722732
  • Harasym AC, Thrush B, Harper ME, Wright DC, Chan CB.  Enhanced glucose homeostasis in BHE/cdb rats with mutated ATP synthase.  Mitochondrion 13: 320-329, 2013.  Enhance glucose homeostasis
  • Berry TR, Chan CB, Bell RC, Walker J.  Collective knowledge: Using a Consensus Conference approach to develop recommendations for physical activity and nutrition programs for persons with Type 2 diabetes. Front Endocrin. 3:161, 2012. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2012.00161 pubmed/23248617
  • Asaad G, Chan CB.  Relationship of diet quality to food security and nutrition knowledge in low-income, community-dwelling elders with type 2 diabetes: a pilot study.  Can J Diabetes 36:310-313, 2012.
  • Wan Z, Perry CG, MacDonald T, Chan CB, Holloway GP, Wright DC.  IL-6 does not regulate adipose tissue mitochondrial content in mice.  PLOS One. 2012;7(12):e51233. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0051233. 10.1371/journal.pone.0051233
  • Kashemsant N, Bucurescu S, Fatehi-Hassanabad Z, Harper ME, Chan CB.  Impairment of proinsulin processing in ß-cells exposed to saturated free fatty acid is dependent on uncoupling protein-2 expression.  Can J Diabetes 36:228-236, 2012.
  • Wan Z, Ritchie I, Chan CB, Wright DC.  IL-6 indirectly modulates the induction of glyceroneogenic enzmes in adipose tissue during exercise.  PLoS One. 7:e41719, 2012. pubmed/22844518
  • Whitlock KA, Kozicky L, Yee H, Jin A, Ha C, Morris J, Field CJ, Bell RC, Ozga J, Chan CB. Evaluation of the mechanisms exerting glucose-lowering effects of dried peas in glucose intolerant rats.  Br J Nutr. 108: S91-S102, 2012.
  • Berry T, Anders S, Chan C, Bell R. Communicating diabetes best practices to clients: A preliminary examination of educator perspectives.  Health Promot  Pract. 133: 388 - 394, 2012.  doi:10.1177/1524839911404225 pubmed/21971869