Sanoji Wijenayake

Sanoji  Wijenayake Title: Assistant Professor
Office: 2RC023
Building: Richardson College for the Environment and Science Complex
Phone: 204-258-3894

Research Interests:

Maternal obesity is a major public health problem. In Canada, 22-24 % of women are diagnosed with obesity at the time of conception and this percentage extends to more than 50 % in the US. This means that a high percentage of infants born in North America are exposed to maternal obesity during critical periods of early development (in utero and after-birth) with long-lasting health complications. Breastfeeding is proposed as a solution to combat the risks of overweight/obesity in children. But we know very little about the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying this protective effect, and we know even less about how maternal obesity shape the bioactive components of milk. Especially, a group of small, fat-coated nanovesicles known as milk-derived exosomes that carry genetic information from mothers to their offspring.


 The main objective of my research program is to characterize the role of maternal milk as a biological regulator of early postnatal development and growth. My lab will use cell culture techniques, an obesity-centric rodent model, microscopy, advanced molecular and biochemistry toolkits, and Next Generation Sequencing technologies.

Currently accepting undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows.