• Karakochuk, Crystal


    Investigator, BC Children's Hospital
    Assistant Professor, Department of Food, Nutrition, and Health, Faculty of Land and Food Systems, University of British Columbia 

    Degrees / Designations

    PhD, Human Nutrition, University of British Columbia
    MSc, Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto
    BSc, Dietetics, University of British Columbia

    Primary Area of Research
    Healthy Starts
    Secondary Area(s) of Research
    Lab Phone
    Mailing Address

    2205 East Mall
    Food, Nutrition, and Health Building
    Vancouver, BC V6T1Z4

    Affiliate Websites
    Research Areas
    • Maternal and child nutrition 
    • Clinical dietetics
    • Micronutrients
    • Global health 
    I am a Registered Dietitian with a strong interest in maternal child nutrition and global health. I have worked as a Clinical Dietitian at BC Children's Hospital and internationally with the United Nations (Rwanda, Malawi, Ethiopia, Timor-Leste, Italy, New York) in operations research, humanitarian aid, and nutrition programming. My research is focused on maternal and child nutrition, micronutrient deficincies, hemoglobin and iron status, and inherited blood disorders.
    Current Projects

    Is iron deficiency a cause of anemia in non-pregnant Cambodian women of reproductive age? A 2x2 randomized controlled  supplementation trial to investigate the hemoglobin response to iron supplementation, with or without multiple micronutrients.

    Prevalence of sickle cell hemoglobin variants and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency among Congolese children and associations with hemoglobin and iron biomarkers. A cross-sectional survey of n=730 children 6-59 months of age in two provinces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
    Selected Publications

    Chebaya P, Karakochuk CD, March KM, Chen NN, Stamm RA, Kroeun H, Sophonneary P, Borath M, Shahab-Ferdows S, Hampel D, Barr SL, Lamers Y, Houghton LA, Allen LH, Green TJ, Whitfield KC. "Correlations between Maternal, Breast Milk, and Infant Vitamin B12 Concentrations among Mother-Infant Dyads in Vancouver, Canada and Prey Veng, Cambodia: An Exploratory Analysis." Nutrients. 2017 Apr 4. PMID: 28287490

    Karakochuk CD, Whitfield KC, Rappaport AI, Barr SI, Vercauteren SM, McLean J, Hou K, Talukder A, Houghton LA, Bailey KB, Boy E, Green TJ. Comparison of four immunoassays to measure serum ferritin concentrations and iron deficiency prevalence among non-pregnant Cambodian women and Congolese children. Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine 2017; 55(1): 65-72.

    Karakochuk CD, Michaux KD, Chai TL, Chan BB, Whitfield KC, Barr SI, McLean J, Talukder A, Hou K, Ly SH, Green TJ. Median urinary iodine concentrations are indicative of adequate iodine status among women of reproductive age in Prey Veng, Cambodia. Nutrients 2016; 8(3): nu8030139.

    Harvey-Leeson S, Karakochuk CD, Hawes M, Tugirimana PL, Bahizire E, Akilimali PZ, Michaux KD, Lynd LD, Whitfield KC, Moursi M, Boy E, Foley J, McLean J, Houghton LA, Gibson RS, Green TJ. Anemia and micronutrient status of women of childbearing age and children 6-59 months in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Nutrients 2016; 8(98): nu8020098.

    Janmohamed A, Karakochuk CD, Boungnasiri S, Janssen P, Brant R, Green TJ, McLean J. Prenatal supplementation with Corn Soya Blend Plus reduces the risk of maternal anemia in late gestation and lowers the rate of preterm birth among rural Cambodian women but does not significantly improve maternal and newborn anthropometry: a randomized trial. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2016; 103: 559-66.

    March KM, Chen NN, Karakochuk CD, Shand AW, Innis SM, von Dadelszen P, Barr SI, Lyon MR, Whiting SJ, Weiler HA, Green TJ. Maternal vitamin D3 supplementation at 50 μg/day protects against low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D in infants at 8 wk of age: a randomized controlled trial of 3 doses of vitamin D beginning in gestation and continued in lactation. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2015; 102: 402-10.

    Karakochuk CD, Whitfield KC, Rappaport AI, Barr SI, Vercauteren SM, McLean J, Prak S, Hou K, Talukder A, Devenish R, Green TJ. The homozygous hemoglobin EE genotype and chronic inflammation are associated with high serum ferritin and soluble transferrin receptor concentrations among women in Cambodia. Journal of Nutrition 2015; 145(12): 2765-73.

    Karakochuk CD, Murphy HM, Whitfield KC, Barr SI, Vercauteren SM, Talukder A, Porter K, Kroeun H, Eath M, McLean J, Green TJ. Elevated levels of iron in groundwater in Prey Veng province in Cambodia: a possible factor contributing to high iron stores in women. Journal of Water and Health 2015; 13(2): 575-86.

    Karakochuk CD, Janmohamed A, Whitfield KC, Barr SI, Vercauteren SM, Kroeun H, Talukder A, McLean J, Green TJ. Evaluation of two methods to measure hemoglobin concentration among women with genetic hemoglobin disorders in Cambodia: a method-comparison study. Clinica Chimica Acta 2015; 441: 148-55.

    Karakochuk CD, Whitfield KC, Barr SI, Lamers Y, Devlin AM, Vercauteren SM, Kroeun H, Talukder A, McLean J, Green TJ. Genetic hemoglobin disorders rather than iron deficiency are a major predictor of hemoglobin concentration in women of reproductive age in rural Prey Veng, Cambodia. Journal of Nutrition 2015; 145(1): 134-42. 

    Karakochuk C, van den Briel T, Stephens D, Zlotkin S. Treatment of moderate acute malnutrition with ready-to-use supplementary food results in higher overall recovery rates compared with a corn-soya blend in children in Ethiopia: an operations research trial. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2012; 96: 911-6.

    Whitfield KC, Karakochuk CD, Kroeun H, Sokhoing L, Chan BB, Borath M, Sophonneary P, Moore K, Tong JK, McLean J, Talukder A, Lynd LD, Li-Chan EC, Kitts DD, Green TJ. Household Consumption of Thiamin-Fortified Fish Sauce Increases Erythrocyte Thiamin Concentrations among Rural Cambodian Women and Their Children Younger Than 5 Years of Age: A Randomized Controlled Efficacy Trial. J Pediatr. 2016 Dec 6 PMID:27939124  

    Whitfield KC, Wozniak R, Pradinuk M, Karakochuk CD, Anabwani G, Daly Z, MacLeod SM, Larson CP, Green TJ. Anthropometric measures are simple and accurate paediatric weight-prediction proxies in resource-poor settings with a high HIV prevalence. Arch Dis Child. 2017 Jan PMID:27073160 

    Karakochuk CD, Whitfield KC, Rappaport AI, Barr SI, Vercauteren SM, McLean J, Hou K, Talukder A, Houghton LA, Bailey KB, Boy E, Green TJ. Comparison of four immunoassays to measure serum ferritin concentrations and iron deficiency prevalence among non-pregnant Cambodian women and Congolese children. Clin Chem Lab Med. 2017 Jan PMID:27337742  

    • Co-Investigator. Is iron deficiency the cause of anemia among women of reproductive age in Cambodia? A 2 x 2 factorial randomized controlled trial of oral iron and multiple micronutrient supplementation.

    • Canadian Institutes of Health Research – Open Operating Grant
      Awarded: $233,428 CAD

    • Sight and Life (Dr. Klaus Kraemer)
      Awarded: $50,000 USD

    • Micronutrient Initiative (Dr. Luz Maria De-Regil)
      Awarded: $151,278 CAD

    • Sole Applicant. PhD-level research in developing countries. Investigating the causes of anemia among Cambodian women
      International Development Research Centre (Dr. Annie Wesley)
      Awarded: $20,000 CAD

    • Co-Investigator. Investigating the prevalence of hemoglobin variants (Hb S variants, alpha-thalassemia and glucose-6 phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency) and associations with anemia, malaria and stunting in Congolese children.
      Harvest Plus/International Food Policy Research Institute (Dr. Erick Boy)
      Awarded: $15,000 USD
    Honours & Awards
    • 2016, Early Career Award for Contribution to Alleviation of Micronutrient Malnutrition International Life Sciences Institute.
    • 2016, Outstanding Achievements for a Doctoral Candidate Award, BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute, Vancouver, Canada.
    • 2015, Emerging Leaders in Nutrition Science Poster Competition Award, sponsored by the Global Nutrition Council of the American Society of Nutrition
    • 2014, Vanier Scholar, Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
    • 2014, Career Enhancement Award, Canadian Child Health Clinician Scientist Training Program.
    • 2014, Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement, Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
    Research Group Members