Yvonne Lamers considered becoming a doctor. In view of the global burden of malnutrition, she decided studying human nutrition as she wanted to focus on preventing diseases instead of treating them.
Originally from Germany’s Black Forest region, Lamers graduated from the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn with a “Diplom” (Master equivalent) in Human Nutrition and Home Economics. She performed the research project for her master thesis at the University of Otago in New Zealand before returning to Germany for her PhD, where she started to work with B-vitamins in 2001.
Her PhD research included a human intervention study that compared the efficacy of folate forms in 144 pregnancy-aged women. The women took different folate supplements over a six month period during which the impact of the folate supplements on risk markers for pregnancy complications was measured.
After completing her PhD, Lamers worked at the University of Florida, where she spent five years researching the metabolic consequences of low vitamin B6 intake with the use of stable isotope tracer studies. Low level of vitamin B6 intake can lead to marginal vitamin B6 deficiency and an increased risk of coronary artery disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Now that she has joined LFS, she plans to combine her research interests by conducting human supplementation trials and tracer studies to measure the metabolic consequences of high folic acid intake and less than optimal vitamin B12 intake in humans. Her research will contribute new knowledge about B-vitamin adequacy among Canadians and help determine some of the underlying connections between nutrition and disease.
Lamers will begin teaching in the Food, Nutrition and Health program in the Fall of 2011.