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.


  • Graduate Admissions Tutor (Nutrition)
  • Module Coordinator

Research interests

  • The role of nutrition on disease prevention and development, particulalrly in high-risk groups;
  • The interaction between the genes and nutrition and their role in health and disease;
  • Identifying and understanding gene*nutrient interactions at the population level (ethnicity, sex, age, etc.)
  • Summary of research evidence (through systematic reviews and meta-analyses).



Principle Investigator (or co-Principle Investigator)

  • Wellcome Trust. Early maternal predictors of infant birth weight and adult cardiometabolic risk in South Asians. £98,037
  • N8 AgriFood. Greenhouse gas and Dietary choices Open source Toolkit (GDOT) Hack-Nights. £8,451
  • Hamilton Health Sciences. New Investigator Fund. Trimethylamine-N-Oxide (TMAO) and Myocardial Infarction in Multi-Ethnic Canadian and Global Populations $49,977 (CAD)
  • CIHR. Randomized Controlled Trials: Mentoring Plan. $140,000 (CAD)


  • CIHR. A culturally-tailored personalizeD nutrition intErvention in South ASIan women at risk of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus: a randomized trial (DESI-GDM). $300,000 (CAD)
  • WHO. 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)
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • 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 and MSc research projects. 

Research groups and institutes

  • Nutrition and Public Health
  • Nutritional Epidemiology
  • Obesity, Cancer and Metabolic Disease
  • Human Nutrition and Lifestyle Intervention

Current postgraduate researchers

<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://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>
    <li><a href="//phd.leeds.ac.uk/project/143-the-role-of-genetics-in-the-regulation-of-metabolism-and-cardiometabolic-diseases-and-cancer">The role of genetics in the regulation of metabolism and cardiometabolic diseases and cancer</a></li>