Faculty Member

Ellie Aghdassi Ph.D

Email Address(es)
ellie.aghdassi@uhn.ca
Division(s)/Office
Epidemiology Division
Position
Adjunct Professor
SGS Status
Associate Member

Research Interests

After graduating with a doctoral degree in Nutritional Sciences in 1995, I have been actively involved in research related to Nutrition, Metabolism and Quality of Life in the field of chronic diseases in Canada. In my previous position I was the National Scientific Officer for the Canadian Network for Improved Outcomes in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (CaNIOS). I am currently working as a Program Manager for the Toronto Dementia Research Alliance which is a coalition of memory clinics from 5 institutions affiliated with Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto. The main goal of this alliance is to prevent, manage and find a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease.

Education & Training History

  1. Degrees/Certificates

1995 Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario

1991 B.SC. Nutritional Science Specialization, B.SC. Physiology Major,

University Of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario

1997 Dietetic Internship Equivalent, Toronto General Hospital, Toronto

2007 Certificate in “Good Clinical Practice and Adverse Event Reporting”, Alba Therapeutics, Baltimore, USA

2008 Certificate in Principals of Clinical Research, The University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario

2008 Certificate in “How to Plan a Clinical Trial”, workshop Feb 13-15, 2008

Faculty of Medicine, The University Health Network, Toronto, Canada

Primary Teaching Responsibilities

2011-present The University of Toronto. Determinants of the Community Health 2. This course is offered in the undergraduate Medicine program at The University of Toronto and focuses on researching health in the community. This course teaches the fundamentals of research methodology in small group discussions (12 hours in the fall) including research questions, selection of study participants, interventions, outcomes and data analyses for both quantitative and qualitative research. Role: Instructor

2000-2005 Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College. Introduction to Clinical Nutrition (PH 2206): This course emphasizes the basic principles of nutrition including the chemistry and metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, energy, vitamins and minerals. The course also presents a discussion of the basic food groups and the fundamentals of assessing nutritional status. This course teaches the general principles of clinical nutrition in a lecture (58 hours) format with instruction in literature review and critical appraisal using small group presentations. Role: Course coordinator and instructor

2001-2003 Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. Introduction to Clinical Nutrition: This second year course teaches the general principles of nutrition during the life span (25 hours for my section) with instruction in literature review and critical appraisal of data. Role: Instructor

2001-2003 Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. Forth year Advanced Nutrition Seminars: This course covers topic in nutrition in 3 hours block involving multi-instructors. Taught Nutrition and Aging, Nutrition and Diseases, Nutrition and Oxidative Stress

2000-2002 Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College. Clinical Nutrition PH 407: This advance course utilizes information presented in PH 206 Nutrition. This course also relates nutrition to health and disease as seen in the clinical chiropractic practice. Emphasis is placed on nutrition as it relates to higher risk groups. Treatment of obesity, diabetes mellitus and gastrointestinal, hepato-biliary, cardiovascular and renal disorders are among the topics discussed. Role: Covered a session on Nutrition & Aging (last offered 2001-2002)

Professional Summary & Appointments

Oct 2010-present Assistant Professor, Status Appointment, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto

June 2011-present Program Manager, The Toronto Dementia Research Alliance

The University Health Network, The Toronto Western Hospital

Aug 2008-present Scientific Associate, Supervisor: Dr. Paul Fortin

The University Health Network, The Toronto Western Hospital

Aug 2010- June 2011 National Scientific Coordinator, Chair: Dr. Paul Fortin

The University Health Network, The Toronto Western Hospital

Canadian Network for Improved Outcome in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (CaNIOS)

2002 – Jul 2008 Scientific Associate, Supervisor: Dr. Johane Allard

The University Health Network, The Toronto General Hospital

2006- 2008 Coordinator, Canadian Home-TPN (Total Parenteral Nutrition) Registry

The University Health Network, The Toronto General Hospital

2000 – 2005 Assistant Professor, Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College

2000 – 2003 Assistant Professor, Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine

1996 – 2002 Research Associate, Supervisor: Dr. J.P. Allard

The University Health Network, The Toronto General Hospital

1995 – 1996 Post-Doctoral Fellow, Supervisor: Dr. J.P. Allard

The University of Toronto, The University Health Network

Honours & Awards

2010 Abstract nomination for the Vars award, Clinical Nutrition Week Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

2003 First abstract award, Canadian Society for Clinical Nutrition, Vancouver, Canada

1994 – 1995 Department of Medicine Post-Graduate Award, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario

1994 Award for outstanding presentation in Canadian Gastroenterology Association

1993 Award for outstanding presentation in Canadian Gastroenterology Association

1993 Abstract nomination for the Vars award, American Society for Enteral & Parenteral Nutrition Conference, San Diego, California

Current Research Projects

1.The Role of Fatty Acid Composition in Disease Activity and Cardiovascular Disease in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

2. Beta-amyloid measurement in the ocular lens as a presymptomatic diagnostic test of incipient Alzheimer disease using normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH) as a unique test ground

3. Sartans to slow Alzheimer’s Disease

4. Validation of ocular measures as potential biomarkers for early detection of brain amyloid and neurodegeneration

Representative Publications

Refereed Journal Articles:

  1. Aghdassi , E. Raina N, Plapler H, Kurian R, Royall D, Jeejeebhoy KN, Cohen Z, and Allard JP. 1994. Colonic fermentation and nutritional recovery in rats with massive small bowel resection. Gastroenterology; 107:637-642.

2. Aghdassi E, Raina N, Allard JP. 1995. Cecal infusion of nutrients improves nutritional status. J of Nutr 125:2880-2886.

3. Allard, J.P., Kurian, R., Aghdassi, E., Muggli, E., Royall, D., 1997. Lipid peroxidation during omega-3 fatty acid and vitamin E supplementation in humans. Lipids 32:535-541.

4. Allard, J.P., Aghdassi, E., Chau, J., Salit, I., Walmsley, S., 1998. Oxidative stress and plasma antioxidant micronutrients in humans with HIV infection. Am J Clin Nutr 67:143-147.

  1. Allard, J.P., Aghdassi, E., Chau, J., Tam, C., Kovacs, C., Salit, I., Walmsley, S., 1998. Effects of vitamin E and C supplementation on oxidative stress and viral load in subjects with human immunodeficiency virus. AIDS 12:1653-1659.
  2. Verhage, A.H., Aghdassi, E., Allard, J.P., 1998. Growth hormone improves nutritional status and intestinal adaptation in rats with 80% small bowel resection fed totally by parenteral nutrition. Nutr Res 18:823-832.
  3. Aghdassi, E., Royall, E., Allard, J.P., 1999. Oxidative stress in smokers supplemented with vitamin C. Intern J Vit Nutr Res 69:45-51.
  4. Aghdassi, E., Allard, J.P., 2000. Breath alkanes as a marker of oxidative stress in different clinical conditions. Free Rad Biol 28:880-886.
  5. Aghdassi, E., Tam, C., Liu, B., McArthur, M., McGeer, A., Simor, A., Allard, J.P., 2001. Body fat of elderly subjects calculated from bioelectric impedance versus anthropometry correlates but does not agree. J Am Diet Assoc 101(10):27-35.
  6. Aghdassi, E., Carrier, J., Cullen, J., M. Tischler, Allard, J.P., 2001. The effect of iron supplementation on oxidative stress and intestinal inflammation in rats with acute colitis. Dig Dis Sci 46(5):1088-1094 (MRC Grant # 15488).
  7. Carrier, J., Aghdassi, E., Cullen J., Allard, J.P., 2001. Effect of oral iron supplementation on oxidative stress and colonic inflammation in rats with induced colitis. Aliment Pharmacol Therap 15:1989-1999.
  8. Wendland, B.E., Aghdassi, E., Tam, C., Carrier, J., Steinhart, A.H., Wolman, S.L., Baron, D., Allard, J.P., 2001. Lipid peroxidation and plasma antioxidant micro-nutrients in Crohn’s disease. Am J Clin Nutr 74(2):259 -265.
  9. Carrier, J., Aghdassi, E., Cullen, J., Allard, J.P., 2002. Effect of iron and vitamin E supplementation on disease activity in rats with dextran sulphate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis. J Nutr; 132(10): 3146-3150.
  10. Aghdassi, E. Wendland, B.E., Steinhart, A.H., Wolman, S.L., Jeejeebhoy K.N., Allard, J.P., 2003. Randomized controlled trial of antioxidant vitamins: Effects on oxidative stress in patients with Crohn’s disease. Am J Gastroenterol 98(2):348- 53.
  11. Allard, J.P., Aghdassi, E., McArthur, M., McGeer, A., Simor, A., Abdolell, M., Stephens, D., Liu, B., 2004. Nutritional risk factors for survival in the elderly living in Canadian long-term care facilities. J Am Geriat Soc 52:59-65.
  12. Carrier, J., Aghdassi, E., Jeejeebhoy, K., Allard, J.P., 2005. Exacerbation of dextran sulfate sodium-induced colitis by dietary iron supplementation: role of NF-kappa B. Int J Colorectal Dis, August, 23: 1-7.
  13. Aghdassi, E., Salit, I.E., Fung, L., Sreetharan, L., Walmsley, S., Allard, J.P., 2006. Is chromium an important element in HIV-positive patients with metabolic abnormalities? A hypothesis generating pilot study. J Am Coll Nutr 25(1), 56-63.
  14. Raman, M., Aghdassi, E., Baun, M., Yeung, M., Fairholm, L., Saqui, O., Allard, J.P., 2006. Metabolic bone disease in patients receiving home total parenteral nutrition: A Canadian study. JPEN 30:492-496.
  15. Liu, B.A, McGeer, A., McArthur, M.A., Simor, A.E., Aghdassi, E., Davis, L., Allard, J.P., 2007. Effect of multivitamin and mineral supplementation on episodes of infection in nursing home residents: A randomized placebo-controlled study. J Am Geriat Soc, 55: 35-42.
  16. Aghdassi, E., Arendt, B., Salit, I., Allard, J.P., 2007. Estimation of body fat mass using dual energy x-ray absorptiometry, bioelectric impedance analysis & anthropometry in HIV positive male subjects on HAART. JPEN 31: 135-141.
  17. Aghdassi, E., Wendland, B.E., Raman, M., Stapleton, M., Allard, J.P., 2006. Inadequacy of nutritional intake in a Canadian population of patients with Crohn’s disease. Journal of The American Dietetic Association 107(9): 1575-1580.
  18. Raman, M., Gramlich, L., Whittaker, S., Allard, J.P., & Participating Home Total Parenteral Nutrition Programs (Aghdassi E, The University Health Network). 2007. Canadian Home Total Parenteral Nutrition Registry: preliminary data on the patient population. Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology, 21(10): 643-648.
  19. Aghdassi, E., McArthur, M., Liu, B., McGeer, A., Simor, A., Allard, J.P., 2007. Dietary intake of elderly living in Toronto long-term care facilities: comparison with the dietary reference intake. Rejuvenation Research; 10(3): 301-310.
  20. Mohammed, S., Aghdassi, E., Salit, I.E., Avand, G., Guindi, M., Heathcote, J.E., Sherman, M., Allard, J.P., 2007. HIV-positive patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease have a lower body mass index and are more physically active than HIV-negative patients. JAIDS; 45(4):432-8.
  21. Allard, J.P., Aghdassi, E., Mohammed, S., Raman, M., Avand, G., Arendt, B.M., Jalali, P., Kandasamy, T., Prayitno, N., Sherman, m., Guindi, M., Ma, D.W.L., Heathcote, J.E., 2008. Nutritional assessment and hepatic fatty acid composition in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD): a cross-sectional study. Journal of Hepatology 48:300-307.
  22. Arendt, B.M., Aghdassi, E., Mohammed, S., Fung, L., Jallali, P., Salit, I., Allard, J.P., 2008. Dietary intake and physical activity in male patients with HIV infection and metabolic abnormalities. Current HIV Research 6: 82-90.
  23. Arendt, B.M., Mohammed, S.S., Aghdassi, E., Prayitno, N.R., Ma, D.W.L., Nguyen, A., Guindi, M., Sherman, M., Heathcote, E.J., Allard, J.P., 2009. Hepatic fatty acid composition is altered in patients with chronic hepatitis C and steatosis compared to those without steatosis. Journal of Nutrition 139 (4): 691-5.
  24. Madill, J., Aghdassi, E., Arendt, B.M., Hartman-Craven, B., Gutierrez, C., Chow, C., Allard, J.P., 2009. Lung transplantation: does oxidative stress contribute to the development of bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome? Transplant Review 23(2): 103-110.
  25. Aghdassi, E., Bondar, H., Salit, I.E., Tinmouth, J., Allard, J.P., 2009. Assessment of knowledge and attitudes of physicians involved in the care of HIV-infected patients with respect to nutrition and nutritional supplements. Journal of AIDS 50 (3): 337-339.
  26. Aghdassi, E., Bondar, H., Salit, I.E., Tinmouth, J., Allard, J.P., 2009. A Survey on the Usage of Supplements in Canadian Patients living with HIV. Current HIV Research, 7(5):555-61.
  27. Madill, J., Aghdassi, E., Arendt, B., Guyirrez, C., Singer, L., Chow, C., Allard, J.P., 2009. Oxidative Stress and Nutritional Intakes in Lung Patients with Bronchiolitis obliterans Syndrome (BOS). Transplantation Proceedings 41(9):3838-44.

32. Madill, J., Arendt, B.M., Aghdassi, E., Therapondos. G., Lilly, L., Chow, C.W., Guindi, M., Allard, J.P. 2009. Hepatic lipid peroxidation and antioxidant micronutrients in hepatitis virus C liver recipients with and without disease recurrence. Transplantation Proceedings 41(9):3800-5.

33. Madill, J., Arendt, B.M., Aghdassi, E., Chow, C.W., Guindi, M., Therapondos. G., Lilly, L., Allard, J.P. 2010. Oxidative stress and nutritional factors in hepatitis C virus-positive liver recipients, controls and hepatitis C virus-positive non-transplant patients. Transplantation Proceedings 42(5): 1744-9.

34. Aghdassi, E., Arendt, B.M., Mohammed, S., Salit, I.E., Jalali, P., Bondar, H., Allard, J.P., 2010. Chromium Supplementation Decreases Insulin Resistance & Trunk Fat in HIV+

Subjects: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo Controlled Trial. Current HIV Research, 8(2):113-20.

35. Aghdassi, E., Morrison, S., Landolt-Marticorena, C., Su, J., Pineau, C.A., Gladman, D., Urowitz, M., Pope, J., Peschken, C., CaNIOS LuNNET & HIPP Investigators., Da Costa, D., Wither, J., Fortin, P.R., 2010. The Use of Micronutrient Supplements: Relation to Quality of Life & Disease Activity in Canadian Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Journal of Rheumatology, 37(1):87-90.

36. Yip, J., Aghdassi, E., Su, J., Lou, W., Bargman, J., Reich, H., Scholey, J., Gladman, D.D., Urowitz, M.B., and Fortin, P.R., 2010. Serum Albumin as a Marker for Disease Activity in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) in Patients with and Without Renal Involvement. Journal of Rheumatology, 37(8):1667-72.

37. Zhang, W., Aghdassi, E., Reich, H., Scholey, J., Su, J., Lou, W., Marticorena-Landolt, C., Gladman, D.D., Urowitz, M.B. and Fortin, P.R., 2011. Baseline EGFR is Predictive of Arterial Diseases in Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). Rheumatology (Oxford), 50(4):799-805.

38. Aghdassi, E., Ma, D.W.L., Morrison, S., Hillyer, L.M., Clarke, S., Gladman, D.D., Urowitz, M.B., Fortin, P.R. 2011. Alteration in Circulating Fatty Acid Composition in Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE): A Pilot Study. Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, 35(2):198-208.

39. Aghdassi, E., Zhang, W., St-Pierre, Y., Clarke, A.E., Morrison, S., Su, J., Marticorena-Landolt, C., Reich, H., Scholey, J., Herzenberg, A., CaNIOS Investigators., Wither, J., Fortin, P.R., 2011. Health Care Cost & Loss of Productivity in a Canadian Population of Patients With & Without Lupus Nephritis. Journal of Rheumatology, 38(4):658-666.

40. Florica, B., Aghdassi, E., Su, J., Gladman, D.D., Urowitz, M.B., Fortin, P.R., 2011. Peripheral Neuropathy in Patients with systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism, 41(2):203-11.

41. Arendt, B.M., Mohammed, S., Ma, D.W.L., Aghdassi, E., Salit, I.E., Wong, D.k.H., Guindi, M., Sherman, M., Heathcote, J., Allard, J.P. 2011. Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in HIV Infection Associated with Altered Hepatic Fatty Acid. Current HIV Research, 9(2):128-35.

42. Blaitsky, A., Peeva, V., Su, J., Aghdassi, E., Yeo, E., Landolt-Marticorena, C., Gladman, D.D., Urowitz, M.B., Fortin, P.R., 2011. Thrombovascular Events Impacts the Quality of Life in Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Journal of Rheumatology, 38(6):1017-9.

43. Huang, D., Aghdassi, E., Su, J., Mosko, J., Hirschfield, G.M, Gladman, D.D., Urowitz, M.B., Fortin, P.R., 2012. The Prevalence and Risk Factors for Liver Biochemical Abnormalities in a Canadian Population of Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. J of Rheumatology, 39(2): 254-61. Epub 2011 Dec 15

44. Barber, C., Herzenberg, A., Aghdassi, E., Su, J., Lou, W., Qian, G., Yip, J., Nasr, S., Thomas, D., Wither, J., Urowitz, M., Gladman, D., Reich, H., Fortin, PR. 2012. Evaluation of clinical outcomes and mortality in relation to vascular pathology among patients with lupus nephritis. Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology,7(5): 757-64.

45. Lee, J.J., Aghdassi, E., Cheung, A.M., Morrison, S., Cymet, A., Peeva, V., Neville, C., Hewitt, S., Da Costa, D., Pineau, C., Pope, J., Fortin, P.R. 2012. 10-year Absolute Fracture Risk and Hip Bone Strength in Canadian Women Living with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). Journal of Rheumatology, Jul;39(7):1378-84.

Papers Submitted

1. Blaitsky, A., Aghdassi, E., Ma, D.W.L., Morrison, S., Su, J., Yeo, E., Gladman, D.D., Urowitz, M.B., Fortin, P.R., 2013. The Role of Phospholipid Fatty Acid Composition in Patients with Antiphospholipid Syndrome and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: A Pilot Study. Journal of Rheumatology, Submitted.

2. Wang, Z., Da Costa, D., Fortin, P.R., Aghdassi, E., Neville, C., Su, J., Pineau, C., Pope, J. 2013. Patterns and Determinants of Leisure Physical activity in women with systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Journal of Rheumatology, Submitted.

Non-Referred Publications

1. Aghdassi, E., 2004. Metabolic Abnormalities and Nutritional Management in Patients with HIV-infection. Clinical Nutrition Rounds; Volume 4, Issue 1.

2. Aghdassi, E., 2003. Malnutrition in the Elderly Population and the Role of Nutritional Interventions. Clinical Nutrition Rounds, volume 3, issue 7.

3. Raman, M., Aghdassi, E., Allard, J.P. 2007. Zinc Review. Journal of Geriatrics, Accepted.

Chapters in Book

1. Aghdassi, E., Allard, J.P. Breath Alkanes as a Marker of Oxidative Stress in Different Clinical Conditions. IN: Bio-assays for oxidative stress status (BOSS). Ed William A. Pryor, Pub Elsevier, Amsterdam 2001, pp 140-146.

2. Aghdassi E. HIV Infection: The Role of Insulin Resistance and Alternative Treatment. IN:

HIV infection in the Era of Highly Active Antiretroviral Treatment and Some of its Associated Complications. Ed Elaheh Aghdassi, INTECH Open Access, Croatia 2011, pp 37-53.