Leaders in Health

The Canadian Digestive Health Foundation is supported by two volunteer boards of directors. The Governing Board provides leadership in the areas of strategic planning, policy, legal and governance.  The Advisory Board manages operations, development and implementation.

Working collaboratively, these dedicated individuals advance the objectives of Foundation which are to:

  • advance the science and knowledge of diseases of the digestive organs
  • assist research, training, prevention and treatment of the conditions impairing the normal function of the digestive organs, including their functions in nutrition
  • promote dissemination of knowledge of diseases of the digestive organs through the Canadian community, and
  • assist in the development of new methods to ensure better quality of life people afflicted with these disorders.
  • Dr. Derek McKay

    Dr. McKay is a CIHR-, NSERC- and Crohn’s Colitis Canada-funded investigator whose research focuses on the regulation of intestinal physiology and immunity in health and disease, specifically: (a) the role of the microbiota, immune mediators and mitochondria in the control of epithelial barrier function; and, (b) the use of a helminth-rodent model paradigm to dissect pathways of immunomodulation.   

    Dr. McKay received his Ph.D. from The Queen’s University of Belfast (N. Ireland) and followed this with post-doctoral training at McMaster University (Canada), where he subsequently accepted a faculty position in the Intestinal Disease Research Program. In 2006 he was appointed Professor and Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at the University of Calgary.  

    With 135 peer-reviewed publications and 140 invited presentations, Dr. McKay’s has received awards from the American Gastroenterological Association, American Society for Parasitology, Canadian Association of Gastroenterology, Canadian Society for Zoologists, and Crohn’s Colitis Canada for research and leadership.  

    Dr. McKay has served as Chair of Research for the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology and the Crohn’s Colitis Canada; he is a frequent reviewer on national and international grant panels. 

    Dr. McKay is the current President of the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology.

Enhancing lifelong health

The Canadian Digestive Health Foundation believes our ability to help establish, enrich and protect a healthy gut microbiota is the key to lifelong health