postdoctoral fellow, Faculty of Science
Born and raised in Düsseldorf, Germany, I attended the Technical University in Munich for a B.Sc. in Human Nutrition followed by an M.Sc. in Molecular Nutrition in the Netherlands at Wageningen University. For my Ph.D. I undertook two projects, one at the University of Nottingham in which I studied hypothalamic appetite regulation and metabolic health in a sheep model of long-term metabolic programming; and the second at the University of Alberta in Canada in which I studied the role of dietary choline intake in a rat model, again focusing on metabolic health and appetite regulation. My first post-doctoral project continued my research in the programming of hypothalamic regulation in the French Institute for Agronomical Research, INRA, in Nantes. I am now starting my CASCADE fellowship, happy to return to Nottingham.
We are interested in the effect that maternal obesity and diabetes have on the offspring in the long term. These offspring are more likely to develop obesity and diabetes themselves and this is, in… read more
We are interested in the effect that maternal obesity and diabetes have on the offspring in the long term. These offspring are more likely to develop obesity and diabetes themselves and this is, in part, due to the high-nutrient environment that the fetus is exposed to during the pregnancy, having direct effects on their development.
Brown adipose tissue (BAT or brown fat) is a specialised tissue, which produces heat. Newborns have brown fat to keep warm. What determines how much of it remains into adulthood is not known. We assume that brown fat is a key player in keeping overweight in check. Brown fat activation is regulated in the hypothalamus in the same nuclei as appetite and physical activity and some of the regulatory mechanisms are overlapping.
We will be studying through imaging techniques how maternal obesity and/or diabetes affect how much brown fat is present in the newborn and older infant. We are also investigating how effective different interventions, including activation of brown fat, are in helping offspring to stay healthy and lean as they grow up, and how they may have secondary effects on the food intake and spontaneous physical activity.
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