Children’s Health Research Institute (CHRI) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Michelle Mottola as the Chair of the Division of Maternal, Fetal & Newborn Health for a five-year term, effective July 1, 2020.

Dr. Mottola is an accomplished researcher in the area of nutrition and exercise lifestyle in pregnancy and their impact on pregnancy outcomes. Her current primary research focus is on the healthy lifestyle for pregnant women and thus improving the health of newborn, infant and children. Dr. Mottola is a Scientist in the Maternal, Fetal & Newborn Health Division of CHRI, and a tenured full-time Professor in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology of Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, and the School of Kinesiology of the Faculty of Health Sciences of Western University. Dr. Mottola received her PhD in Anatomy from the University of Alberta in 1984, and was appointed as Assistant Professor jointly between the Department of Anatomy in the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Kinesiology of the University of Western Ontario in 1985. She became a tenured Associate Professor in 1991 and a full-Professor in 2011. She is also the Founding Director of the R. Samuel McLaughlin Foundation Exercise and Pregnancy Laboratory, established in 1996. Dr. Mottola has been a research and academic leader at Western and Lawson, and in Canada and internationally. She was the lead investigator of the Nutrition and Exercise Lifestyle Intervention Program (NELIP) that prevents excessive gestational weight gain and chronic diseases in the mother, such as gestational diabetes mellitus, and the future risk of diabetes and obesity in both mother and her children. In 2014, NELIP was selected for the Canadian Best Practice Portal website by the Public Health Agency of Canada. Over her career, she has published 135 peer reviewed manuscripts including 21 book chapters. Her Google Scholar “H-index” is 37 with a total of 5,191 citations. She has received total grant funding of over $4.5 million from provincial, national and international funding agencies. She was invited by the International Olympic Committee to attend a sponsored workshop of global experts that met in Lausanne, Switzerland, to produce consensus documents as a five-part series about the elite pregnant athlete, which were published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

She was co-lead author of the new 2019 Canadian Guideline for Physical Activity throughout Pregnancy, which was jointly published in the BJSM and the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology of Canada (also in French), and endorsed by physician organizations, the Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology (CSEP), Canadian Association of Midwives, Exercise is Medicine Canada, ParticipACTION, several provincial health agencies, and the Directorate for Chief Medical Officer of Scotland, and the Spanish Society of Gynecology and Obstetrics.

She recently completed her three-year tenure as an elected Board of Trustees member in Basic and Applied Sciences for the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). She was the Founding Chair of the Special Interest Group (SIG) in Pregnancy and Postpartum research in 2018, which was the first of its kind for the ACSM.

She was the Graduate Chair in the School of Kinesiology for 3 years with a graduate student complement of approximately 90 PhD and Masters students, giving her wide experience in student/trainee and graduate faculty interactions.

The Maternal, Fetal & Newborn Health Division’s research is focused on (1) studying the mechanisms of normal and abnormal fetal and newborn growth and development; (2) understanding how maternal health and well-being influence fetal and newborn health and development; (3) investigating the long-term effects of abnormal fetal development on childhood health and diseases; and (4) developing non-invasive and safe methods for early detection of abnormal fetal and neonatal development, and formulating intervention strategies to prevent and treat abnormal fetal and neonatal development.  Dr. Mottola will lead the Division of 16 Scientists and 7 Associate Scientists.

Michelle Mottola: mmottola@uwo.ca

Website: https://www.uwo.ca/fhs/EPL/

Maternal, Fetal & Newborn Health Division: https://www.lawsonresearch.ca/chri/maternal-fetal-and-newborn-health