Top 40: Dr. Jonathan Little
Okanagan Edge Staff - Nov 10 - Columnists

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This year, Okanagan Edge and the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce have partnered to showcase some of the Okanagan’s most exciting entrepreneurs, through the Top 40 Under 40 program.

Sponsored by BDO, the Top 40 Under 40 recognizes innovative young professionals in our community, and showcases their accomplishments.

Okanagan Edge will feature a new honouree each week, so check back often.

This week we recognize Dr. Jonathan Little, a UBCO professor and accomplished research scientist.

Image: Contributed

Dr. Jonathan Little is an assistant professor at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan Campus, where he has achieved considerable success.

Along with $1.6 million in research grant funding as a principal investigator, he has published 90 peer-reviewed articles, trained ten graduate students and more than 40 undergraduate students in his lab.

Little has also been named to the UBCO teaching honour roll four years in a row, and has received awards from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Michael Smith Foundation, and American College of Sports Medicine.

In addition to research, Little is actively involved in the community, helping to raise awareness and promote healthy lifestyles. He’s given more than talks to local community groups on the benefits of exercise and diet for the prevention and treatment of Type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases.

Little and his graduate students are also involved with the local Diabetes Canada branch, assisting with the organization of events such as the 2016 Diabetes Day held at Parkinson Recreation Centre.

He has delivered two national webinars on exercise and diabetes, been interviewed several times on local radio to discuss his work, and has been featured internationally in popular media outlets such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Runner’s World.

Little collaborates with Valley Medical Laboratories, who run the Kelowna Diabetes Program, and has been instrumental in launching diabetes research in our region.

Through this partnership, more than 300 individuals with, or at risk for, diabetes have participated in exercise and/or diet research studies at UBCO. Participants gain valuable information about their health and are introduced to novel exercise and diet approaches in these studies.

In a large ongoing study, Little’s research is being brought to the community through 13 Pharmasave locations in B.C. (including two in Kelowna) delivering diet and lifestyle treatment for individuals with Type 2 diabetes.

Little is not entrepreneurial per se, but his research has led to a spin-off company, in partnership with Kelowna-based software company CoreHealth Technologies, involving the invention of a portable metabolic monitoring device to aid in weight loss.

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