In this episode I had the great pleasure of speaking with Dr. Valerie Taylor. Originally hailing from Newfoundland, Valerie is now the Calgary Zone Lead for Addiction and Mental Health with Alberta Health Services as well as the Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Calgary.
Her research focuses on working to identify new treatment modalities for those suffering from mental illness.
In 2020, Valerie was named one of Canada’s 100 most powerful women.
Valerie has a keen interest in the area of the brain body interface. A major focus of her research is the gut brain axis and investigating how manipulation of this system can be used as a potential therapeutic target for new treatments and how psychiatric illness impacts the gut microbiome.
Valerie is currently running the only clinical trial in North America using fecal transplant to target mood disorders (must listen to become a convert), and are running a longitudinal microbiome biobank which contains detailed clinical, fMRI, and biological (feces, urine, blood) data.
Just recently, Valerie announced The Parker Psychedelic Research Chair, the first of its kind in Canada, thanks to a $3M gift by UofC Alumnus Jim Parker.
I'm so impressed by Valerie and the innovation she is driving in Calgary. I love this episode so much and would be prepared to donate my stool to her research, but the only issue is I wouldn't quality as a "healthy subject.":)