We are deeply saddened by the news of Dr. Sheila Innis’ death on February 10, 2016. Originally from the UK, Dr. Innis was a highly respected Professor in the UBC Department of Pediatrics and Director of the Nutrition & Metabolism Research Program at CFRI.
Dr. Innis was a tireless proponent of the nutritional needs of babies, children, expectant mothers and special populations including low weight infants and children with congenital diseases. She was at the forefront of informing national and international policy on nutrition and her research was internationally renowned.
As head of the Nutrition & Metabolism Research Program, Dr. Innis’ academic work was dedicated to pioneering research to solve real problems in how dietary components alone and in combination with genetic background or disease affect children in reaching their full potential for physical and cognitive development, as well as their susceptibility to chronic disease throughout the lifespan.
Dr. Innis’ many research accomplishments were considered a cornerstone of important new knowledge, spearheading novel avenues for understanding the link between diet and health. She had a long track record of contributions to national and international research networks ultimately improving dietary recommendations and practices, and clinical nutrition products. She established advanced metabolic profiling technologies at BC Children’s and conducted ground-breaking work on the effects of dietary fatty acids during pregnancy and infancy. She trained many researchers who today hold positions around the world.
In 2015, Dr. Innis was awarded the Geoffrey C. Robinson Award from the Canadian Pediatric Society in recognition of her outstanding contributions to child and youth health through research in the field of population health or health services research within the last five years.
Over the span of Dr. Innis’ illustrious career, her insights, knowledge development and research have and will continue to improve understanding the way nutrition and the health of neonates are linked for generations to come.
Our heartfelt thoughts and sympathies are with Dr. Innis’ family, friends and colleagues during this difficult time. She will be dearly missed.
A celebration of life for Dr. Innis will be held in the coming weeks, and we will share the details once available.