Crystal Karakochuk

Crystal Karakochuk

Assistant Professor, Food, Nutrition and Health

Canada Research Chair in Micronutrients and Human Health

Investigator, Healthy Starts, BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute & Women’s Health Research Institute


Food, Nutrition and Health 216, 2205 East Mall

Karakochuk Research Group

University of British Columbia, PhD, Human Nutrition

University of Toronto, MSc, Nutritional Sciences

Vancouver Hospital & Health Sciences Centre, Dietetic Internship

University of British Columbia, BSc, Dietetics

Dr. Crystal Karakochuk is an Assistant Professor in Human Nutrition in the Department of Food, Nutrition, and Health at UBC and an Investigator at the BC Children’s Hospital Research and Women’s Health Research Institutes.

Dr. Karakochuk’s research program focuses on micronutrients and human health. She evaluates programs and policies for anemia prevention and treatment, and the risk-benefit of micronutrient interventions in children and women. Her research brings together clinicians, researchers, and policy makers to advance and apply innovative knowledge in human nutrition.

Over the next five years, Dr. Karakochuk’s research will address two key objectives:

  1. To evaluate the risk-benefit of Canadian and global micronutrient interventions to advance clinical practice and inform safe and effective nutrition policy.
  2. To improve diagnostic methods and evaluate novel biomarkers for anemia and iron deficiency for individual- and population-level assessment.

Dr. Karakochuk’s laboratory is based at the Food, Nutrition and Health building. She established the infrastructure required to conduct high-throughput work in a high-precision facility, and created a facility to advance analytical methods in nutritional hematology. She employs randomized controlled trials as her core methodology which provide the most rigorous design to provide reliable evidence on the effectiveness of interventions. Ultimately, her research yields to important policies that target health, social, and economic benefits to children, women and families.

See Google Scholar for a full list of publications.

Williams BA, Cochrane KM, Fischer JAJ, Aljaadi AM, McAnena L, Ward M, McNulty H, Kroeun H, Green TJ, Whitfield KC, Karakochuk CD*. The homozygous hemoglobin EE variant is associated with elevated erythrocyte glutathione reductase activity coefficients (EGRac) in Cambodian women of reproductive age. The Journal of Nutrition 2020; 150(7): 1943-50.

Holmes J, Kroeun H, Houghton LA, Gibson RS, Harding KB, De-Regil LM, Kraemer K, Barr SI, Karakochuk CD*. Including 60 mg elemental iron in a multiple micronutrient supplement blunts the increase in serum zinc after 12 weeks of daily supplementation in predominantly anemic, non-pregnant Cambodian women of reproductive age. Journal of Nutrition 2019; 149(9):1503-10.

Karakochuk CD*, Hess SY, Moorthy D, Namaste S, Parker ME, Rappaport AI, Wegmuller R, Dary O. Measurement and interpretation of haemoglobin concentration in clinical and field settings: a narrative review. Commissioned consultation paper for the World Health Organization. Annals of the New York Academy of the Sciences 2019; 1450(1):126-46. DOI: 10.1111/nyas.14003.

Samson KLI, McCartney H, Vercauteren SM, Wu J, Karakochuk CD*. Prevalence of vitamin D deficiency varies widely by season in Canadian children and adolescents with sickle cell disease. Journal of Clinical Medicine 2018; 7(2): E14.

Karakochuk CD, Barker MK, Whitfield KC, Barr SI, Vercauteren SM, Devlin AM, Hutcheon JA, Houghton LA, Prak S, Hou K, Chai TL, Stormer A, Ly S, Devenish R, Oberkanins C, Puringher H, Harding KB, De-Regil LM, Kraemer K, Green TJ*. The effect of oral iron with or without multiple micronutrients on hemoglobin concentration and hemoglobin response among non-pregnant Cambodian women of reproductive age: A 2x2 factorial double-blind randomized supplementation trial. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2017; 106(1): 233-44.

FNH 455: Applied International Nutrition: The aim of this course is to provide a critical examination of nutrition interventions in the global health context. Students are required to actively participate in discussions and to work in teams to apply learned knowledge and complete an international nutrition intervention proposal.

HUNU 531/631: Food Nutrition and Health Graduate Seminar Series

Dr. Karakochuk’s academic career is built on a decade of clinical dietetics and international nutrition policy experience, including six years with the United Nations in Africa, Asia, and New York, and Rome Headquarters. Dr. Karakochuk has also worked as a Clinical Dietitian at the BC Children’s Hospital, as a Dietitian Manager for Pregnancy Outreach Programs in BC, and as a Regional Nutritionist for the Canada Prenatal Nutrition Programs in Inuvik, Northwest Territories.