Nikhil Pai
Associate Professor, Pediatrics

Dr. Nikhil Pai is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at McMaster University, and Staff Physician through the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology at McMaster Children’s Hospital. He completed medical school at McMaster University, pediatric residency at the Hospital for Sick Children (University of Toronto), and his pediatric gastroenterology fellowship at Boston Children's Hospital (Harvard Medical School; Physician-Scientist Stream). He is Medical Lead of the Complex Pediatric Nutrition Service at McMaster Children's Hospital and Pediatric Intestinal Failure program, supports an active outpatient, inpatient, and pediatric endoscopy practice, and leads a busy translational research program.

Dr. Pai's research focuses on the role of nutritional science and microbial therapeutics in pediatric gastroenterology, including through the use of fecal microbiota transplant in pediatric inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). He is principal investigator of three multicenter randomized-controlled trials: the PediFeTCh Trial (Pediatric Fecal Microbiota Transplantation in Ulcerative Colitis), PediCRaFT Trial (Pediatric Crohn's Disease Fecal Microbiota Transplant), and FIND Trial (Fructo-oligosaccharide Supplementation in Pediatric Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease). His research expertise is in clinical and basic science studies of host-microbial interactions, including two years of postdoctoral research in obesity, metabolic syndrome and microbiome interactions using diet-induced obesity animal models (Massachusetts General Hospital; Supervisors: Lee Kaplan, Peter Turnbaugh). He has published widely, receives Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and non-profit peer-reviewed grant funding (>$3.98M), and regularly speaks about the role of the intestinal microbiome in health and disease. He was awarded the 2023 American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN) Stanley J. Dudrick Research Award and 2024 Canadian Nutrition Society (CNS) Young Investigator Award in recognition of his translational nutritional research, an Ontario Innovation Award for his work on pediatric fecal microbiota transplant, and he shares a patent for his work in urine metabolomics diagnostics.

Dr. Pai is an active clinician-educator within the Department of Pediatrics and trains medical students, pediatric residents, and fellows through the division's busy pediatric gastroenterology service. He is an Associate Member of McMaster University's Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute and the Metabolism, Obesity and Diabetes Research (MODR) Centre. His administrative work includes membership on the Pediatric Working Group of the Canadian Malnutrition Task Force (Canadian Nutrition Society), Co-Chair of McMaster Children's Hospital's Pediatric Nutrition Advisory Committee, External Advisor to Health Canada's Fecal Microbiota Transplant Advanced Therapeutics Pathway, and Associate Editor (Section on Nutrition) for the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition (JPGN). He is an invited reviewer of multiple high impact-factor journals, CIHR grant reviewer, and offers consulting services to select industry partners.

Dr. Pai will be an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and a Staff Physician with the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), from July 2024. He will maintain a part-time Assistant Professor appointment with McMaster University at this time.
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