Dr. Donna Vine

Full Professor
Interim Academic Lead, Dietetics Specialization Program
Co-Director, Metabolic and Cardiovascular Diseases Laboratory

Division of Human Nutrition
Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science
Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences

4-002H Li Ka Shing (LKS) Centre for Health Research Innovation
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2E1

1+(780) 492-4393 (office)
1+(780) 492-9270 (fax)


Dr. Donna Vine trained as a physiologist and biochemistry scientist in both Australia and Canada. She joined the Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science at the University of Alberta in 2004 and went on to become an Assistant Professor in 2006. Area of focus: Evaluating the impact of nutrition and pharmacotherapies on intestinal lipid metabolism and cardiometabolic risk in clinical conditions and animal models of polycystic ovary syndrome, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Research Highlights:

  • We have made extensive contributions to the study of intestinal chylomicrons, which has lead to the discovery that the impairment of intestinal chylomicron metabolism leads to an accumulation of these particles in the circulation contributing to dyslipidemia in the metabolic syndrome, diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and diabetes.
  • We have been the first to provide evidence that dietary derived cholesterol oxidation products are rapidly absorbed by the intestine, are incorporated into intestinal chylomicrons and transported to the circulation.
  • We have discovered using intestinal ‘Ussing’ transport techniques that dietary type and amount can influence both the histological integrity and the physiological transport processes of the intestine.
  • We developed a novel surgical (in-situ perfusion) and analytical methods (con-focal microscopy) to determine the permeability of intestinal chylomicron-remnants into arterial vessels.
  • We have pioneered the development of an animal model to investigate the pathophysiology of PCOS and the development of insulin resistance and dyslipidemia in PCOS.

Research Summary:

Dr. Vine and the MCVD Laboratory are contributing to the link between intestinal lipid absorption, transport and metabolism in relationship to impaired intestinal chylomicron lipoprotein physiology in cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, polycystic ovarian syndrome and diabetes. Emerging evidence suggest the intestine contributes significantly to whole body cholesterol and triglyceride metabolism, yet there remains a lack of knowledge regarding the regulation of intestinal lipid absorption, and transport of dietary lipids to the circulation via chylomicrons in disease states. In particular, we are interested in how chylomicrons and their remnants independently contribute to cholesterol deposition in the arterial wall and subclinical cardiovascular disease risk. Subclinical cardiovascular disease risk associated with impaired chylomicron metabolism in childhood and adolescent obesity, metabolic syndrome, and polycystic ovary syndrome are being investigated and how diet, exercise and pharmacotherapies can modulate this risk in these conditions.


Current Series of Projects

Short Video Series

Please see ResearchGate for more information.