Rajavel Elango

Academic Institution Affiliation: University of British Columbia (UBC)
Academic Institution Position/Title: Assistant Professor
Academic Affiliation Faculty: Faculty of Medicine, Pediatrics, School of Population and Public Health
Hospital/Health Centre Affiliation Position: Investigator, BC Children's Hospital
Degree(s): MSc, PhD

Research areas of interest:
Healthy Starts
Research Themes:
Maternal & Fetal Health Newborn Health


The goal of my research program is to identify protein and amino acid (building blocks of protein) requirements during key life stages of growth and development, including pregnancy, childhood and malnutrition.

During pregnancy the nutritional state of the mother influences the rapidly growing fetus and affects long-term health. Due to ethical constraints protein requirements during pregnancy is not well studied. With the use of stable isotope tracers, which are completely safe for use in vulnerable populations like pregnant women, my research will measure requirements in the human body. The focus will be to make dietary protein and amino acid recommendations to improve long-term health for the mother and child.

Undernutrition or malnutrition has been implicated to be the underlying cause of ~50% of all deaths in children in the developing world. My research will examine the impact of childhood malnutrition on protein and amino acid requirements with collaborations between research institutes located in India and BC Children’s & Women’s Health Center in Vancouver.