Dr Michael Zulyniak

Dr Michael Zulyniak


Trained and experienced as a clinical kinesiologist, I undertook my PhD to evaluate the differences in metabolism between normal weight and obese humans and how these differernces govern a person's risk of diabetes. Using a combination of cohort and clincial trial data, and genomic and metabolomic methods, I noted that populations that differ in age, ethcnity, or body weight appear to metabolise foods differently and in a manner that effected their risk of future health concerns. As a postdoctoral fellow, I continued this research and used modern analytical and statistical approaches to investigate interactions between diet and ethnicity on the health of Canadians in large observational studies. 

In light of my cross-discipline interests in nutrition, genomics, epidemiology, physical activity, and molecular physiology, I have a keen interest in cardiovascular health and the intertwined role of nutrition and lifestyle towards improving cardiovascular health and minimizing disease risk, such as obesity, type-2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. With particualr interest in how and why responses to treatment differs between certain populations that differ in ethnicity, sex, age, and underlying genomic structure and architecture. My research is aimed at understanding how these systems work together and contribute toward health and disease using a number of research techniques.


  • Undergraduate Admissions Tutor (Dep.)
  • Module Coordinator

Research interests

  • The interaction between the human genome and nutrition and its role in health and risk of disease;
  • The interaction between physical activity and nutrition and its impact on health and risk of disease;
  • Identifying and understanding these interactions at the population level (ethnicity, sex, age, etc.) in order to tailor treatment options and improve current health practices (diet and exercise);
  • Barriers and facilitators in the home and family environment that impact adherence to common health practices in order to tailor the treatments and improve their feasibility and fidelity; and
  • Summary of research evidence (through systematic reviews and meta-analyses).

Research Funding:

  • World Health Organization. Systematic review and meta-analysis on the effects of dietary PUFA on cardiometabolic, atopic, and neurocognitive development in children, pregnant women, and adults.  $31,084 (CAD)
  • Hamilton Health Sciences. New Investigator Fund. Trimethylamine-N-Oxide (TMAO) and Myocardial Infarction in Multi-Ethnic Canadian and Global Populations $49,977 (CAD)
  • Canadian Institute for Health Research. Randomized Controlled Trials Mentoring Fellowship: Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes. $160,000 (CAD)


  • BSc. University of Saskatchewan (Canada), Kinesiology
  • MSc. University of Aberdeen (UK) Molecular Exercise Physiology
  • PhD. University of Guelph (Canada), Human Health and Nutritional Sciences
  • Research Fellowship. McMaster University (Canada). Department of Medicine.

Professional memberships

  • Association for the Study of Obesity (Member)
  • The Nutrition Society (Member)
  • Lifestyle Genomics (Journal, Associate Editor)
  • PLOS ONE (Journal, Academic Editor)

Student education

I lead an undergradate module which covers molecular and cellular biology, nutrition, and metabolism and deliver guest lectures on the topics of nutrition, genomics, and obesity. I also mentor 2nd year undergrauate students perparing literature reviews and final year undergraduate research projects. 

Research groups and institutes

  • Nutrition and Public Health
  • Nutritional Epidemiology
  • Obesity, Cancer and Metabolic Disease
  • Human Nutrition and Lifestyle Intervention
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://physicalsciences.leeds.ac.uk/research-opportunities">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>