Jill Parnell

Health and Physical Education

PhD, University of Calgary
B.Ed., Lakehead University
B.Sc., Lakehead University

Position: AssociateProfessor

Office: U243H
Phone: 403.440.8672
E-mail: jparnell@mtroyal.ca

Education: Jill completed her PhD in Medical Sciences at the University of Calgary. Her doctoral research involved characterizing the pathogenesis of obesity and related metabolic disorders with the goal of identifying targets for nutritional therapies. Her primary focus was on the expression of genes involved in appetite regulation and insulin secretion. Her dietary intervention examined the ability of prebiotic fibers to modulate the expression of anorexigenic and orexigenic hormones as well as those involved in glucoregulation. To this end, the effects of prebiotic fibers on hyperlipidemia, hyperglycemia, and appetite were evaluated in a genetically obese rat model followed by a human clinical trial. In preparation for her doctoral work, she completed a Bachelor of Education and Honours Bachelor of Science with a major in biology and minor in chemistry concurrently at Lakehead University.

Current Work: Jill joined the Department of Physical Education and Recreation Studies at Mount Royal University in 2008 as a sessional instructor. In 2009, she secured a full-time position as an assistant professor. She teaches for the Physical Education University Transfer program and maintains an active program of research.

Instructor Profile: Jill instructs nutrition, research methods, and activity courses. She is dedicated to her students and strives to blend the teaching skills obtained from her formal instruction in education and the knowledge gained through her scholarship, into her classroom instruction. Her goal is to present students with the most current information in an active and engaging manner.


Community Service/Research Interests: Jill regularly facilitates sport nutrition sessions for a variety of groups including the Alberta Sport Development Centre, the Sport Medicine Council of Alberta, and local and provincial teams.
Currently, her research centers on identifying dietary interventions for the prevention and treatment of obesity and its associated metabolic disorders. She continues to focus on appetite regulation, but has extended her scope of interest to include the effects of nutrients on the gut microbiota and cytokines. She also has an interest in sports nutrition and is studying the dietary supplementation habits and patterns of young athletes.