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  • Connie M. Weaver, PhD, Distinguished Professor, Purdue University

    Dr. Connie Weaver, is a Distinguished Professor at Purdue University in the Department of Nutrition Science in West Lafayette, Indiana. Her research interests include mineral bioavailability, calcium metabolism, and bone and cardiovascular health.  She has published over 400 research articles to date.

    She is an elected member of The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine since 2010; a member of the Food and Nutrition Board, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Science Advisory Board and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Advisory Committee on Research on Women’s Health; and is founder and director of the Women's Global Health Institute at Purdue University.  Dr. Weaver was appointed to the 2005 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee for Americans.  For over 25 years, she has been consistently recognized with many awards for her outstanding teaching, research and service.

    Dr. Weaver received a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in food science and human nutrition from Oregon State University.  She received a PhD in food science and human nutrition from Florida State University and holds minors in chemistry and plant physiology.

  • Rajavel Elango, PhD, Associate Professor, UBC

    Dr. Rajavel Elango is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, School of Population and Public Health at the Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia. He is also an Investigator at the BC Children's Hospital Research Institute, and an associate member in the Human Nutrition Program at the Faculty of Land and Food Systems.

    Dr. Elango's research is focussed on the identification of the dietary requirements for protein and amino acids during critical life stages such as pregnancy and childhood. His recent findings that current protein intake recommendations by national and international agencies such as the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI) and World Health Organization (WHO), respectively, are significantly underestimated has critical health implications at the population level. He has been invited as an Expert member by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in 2014 and 2017 to make recommendations for protein quality assessment of food sources. Dr. Elango's international nutrition research is accomplished through collaborations with research institutes located in India.

  • Rachel Murphy, PhD, Assistant Professor, UBC

    Dr. Rachel Murphy is an Assistant Professor in the Centre of Excellence in Cancer Prevention, School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia. She is also an Affiliated Scientist at the BC Cancer Agency and an associate member in the Human Nutrition Program at the Faculty of Land and Food Systems.

    Dr. Murphy holds a PhD in Nutrition and Metabolism from the University of Alberta. Her research program aims to advance the understanding of relationships between diet, nutrition and chronic disease, particularly cancer. Her research primarily uses a population-based approach and innovative methodologies to study metabolic pathways underlying relationships. She received one of two Awards from the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute Career Development Awards in 2016, which supports researchers whose work has the potential for high impact. 

  • Kara Vogt, MEd, RD, Moderator

    Kara Vogt is a Registered Dietitian, and has worked in many different roles since entering the dietetics profession in 2006. She is currently a dietetics educator at the University of British Columbia, and an elected member of the Dietitians of Canada Board of Directors. 

    Kara completed her dietetics degree at the University of British Columbia, and a post-graduate internship with Vancouver Island Health Authority. She has worked as a clinical dietitian in inpatient, outpatient and residential care roles for several BC health authorities. In 2014, she completed a Masters in Educational Leadership at Simon Fraser University and published her research on the topic of professional development models for dietitians, in the Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research. 

    Kara is passionate about ensuring dietitians are recognized and called upon to provide food and nutrition expertise for individuals and populations. She is inspired to see her dietitian colleagues making significant contributions to the lives of Canadians in so many ways—through wellness promotion, chronic disease management, in the food industry, and public policy work.  Kara contributes to furthering national priorities for the dietetics profession in her work on the Dietitians of Canada Board of Directors. Learn more about Dietitians of Canada at