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(306) 373-9922

Fax: 306-955-2510

2105 – 8th Street East

Saskatoon, SK, S7H 5N9

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Dr. Dan Columbus

Research Scientist, Nutrition

Phone (306) 667-7432
Email  Contact Dan

Dr. Columbus joined the Prairie Swine Centre in 2015 as a Research Associate in Nutrition and was promoted to Research Scientist in 2016.  He is also Adjunct Professor in the Department of Animal and Poultry Science at the University of Saskatchewan.  He is responsible for overseeing the nutrition research program at Prairie Swine Centre and development of collaborations between PSC and USask.

Previously, Dr. Columbus was a Postdoctoral Associate at the USDA/ARS Children’s Nutrition Research Centre at Baylor College of Medicine.  His research at the CNRC focused on understanding the physiology of muscle growth and on developing strategies to improve lean tissue gain as a means to improve development and long-term health of low-birth weight infants.  Dr. Columbus completed his PhD at the University of Guelph where he studied nitrogen metabolism in the gastrointestinal tract of the growing pig and the interaction of dietary nutrients/ingredients and gut microbes and the effect on amino acid availability.


  • PhD, University of Guelph, 2012
  • MSc, University of Guelph, 2008
  • BSc, University of Guelph, 2004


  • Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship (NSERC), 2010
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship, 2009
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology, 2009
  • Animal Nutrition Association of Canada Graduate Scholarship
  • Keith Gilmore Foundation Post-Graduate Scholarship

Professional Associations

  • Member, American Society of Animal Science
  • Member, Canadian Society of Animal Science
  • Member, American Society for Nutrition


  • Saskatchewan Pork Industry Symposium Steering Committee
  • Reviewer: Journal of Nutrition, Journal of Animal Science, Canadian Journal of Animal Science, Amino Acids, Nutrients
  • Reviewer: NSERC, Canada Foundation for Innovation, Mitacs

Current Research Program

  1. Interaction of nutrition and health status on nutrient utilization and pig robustness.
  2. Impact of early-life nutrition on long-term growth performance and health.
  3. Evaluation of alternative feed ingredients and feeding practices to enhance nutrient utilization and animal performance.

Selected Publications

  • Wellington MO, Htoo JK, Van Kessel AG, and Columbus DA (2018) Impact of high dietary fiber and immune system stimulation on threonine requirement for whole body protein deposition in growing pigs. J. Anim. Sci. In press.
  • Manjarin R, Columbus DA, Solis J, Hernandez-Garcia AD, Suryawan A, Nguyen HV, McGuckin MM, Jimenez RT, Fiorotto ML, and Davis TA (2018) Short and long-term effect of leucine and branched-chain amino acid inclusion in a reduced protein and energy diet on muscle protein metabolism in neonatal pigs. Amino Acids. 50:943-959.
  • Pasternak JA, Aiyer VIA, Hamonic G, Beaulieu AD*, Columbus DA*, and Wilson HL* (2018) Molecular and physiological effects on the small intestine of weanling pigs following prolonged feeding with deoxynivalenol-contaminated feed. Toxins. 10(1), 40. *contributed equally
  • Hernandez-Garcia AD, Columbus DA, Manjarin R, Suryawan A, Nguyen HV, Orellana RA, and Davis TA (2016) Leucine supplementation stimulates muscle protein synthesis and reduces degradation signal activation in newborn pigs during acute endotoxemia. Am. J. Physiol. Endocrinol. Metab. 311:E791-E801.
  • Kao M, Columbus DA, Suryawan A, Steinhoff-Wagner J, Hernandez-Garcia A, Nguyen HV, Fiorotto ML, and Davis TA (2016) Enteral β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate supplementation increases protein synthesis in skeletal muscle of neonatal pigs. Am. J. Physiol. Endocrinol. Metab. 310:E1072-E1084.
  • For a full list of publications see Google Scholar