About Deborah Sloboda
Dr Deb Sloboda is a Professor and the Associate Chair of Research in the Dept of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences at McMaster University, Canada She holds a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Perinatal Programming. She completed her PhD training at the University of Toronto in Physiology in 2001 following which she was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia. In 2006 she was recruited to the Liggins Institute at the University of Auckland in New Zealand and where from 2008 -2011, she was the Deputy Director of the National Research Centre for Growth and Development. In 2012, she left Auckland to take up a faculty position at McMaster University.
Dr Sloboda's laboratory investigates the early life impacts on maternal, fetal and placental development and how this mediates the risk of non-communicable disease later in life. Her experimental studies investigate maternal nutrient manipulation on maternal pregnancy adaptations, including the microbiome, placental inflammation and offspring reproductive and metabolic function. In community based health studies, Dr Sloboda engages with expectant mothers and services that support pregnant women. Her Mothers to Babies Study aims to develop a community-based formative knowledge transfer and work program of intervention, to improve diet, and body composition of women before and after conception. She is the lead of the Canadian Teens in COVID Study (CanTec19) that investigates the impacts of COVID on adolescent health and well-being and aims to develop resources that target the need of adolescents during the pandemic.
In 2015, Dr Sloboda was awarded the International Society of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease Nick Hales Award for outstanding research contribution to the field of early life programming, and in 2017 won the Hamilton YWCA Woman of Distinction Award in Science Trade, and Technology. In 2019 she was awarded the FHS McMaster University Graduate supervision award for her outstanding student mentoring.
Dr Sloboda is one of the founding co-Presidents of the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease Society of Canada, and has been the Secretary of the International Society for the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease since 2013. She has published >120 papers in leading scientific journals and book chapters, on the concept of early life origins of health and disease.