School of Biosciences

Image of Preeti Jethwa

Preeti Jethwa

Assistant Professor in Human Nutrition, Faculty of Science


  • workRoom Room 19 The North Lab, The University of Nottingham Sutton Bonnington Campus
    Sutton Bonington Campus
    Sutton Bonington
    LE12 5RD
  • work0115 951 6604
  • fax0115 951 6122


Dr. Jethwa's research focus on exploring dietary and pharmacological treatments for metabolic diseases, particularly obesity and diabetes, represents a critical area of investigation with significant implications for public health. By delving into the effectiveness of various interventions within these domains, the Jethwa lab has garnered comprehensive insights into the intricate mechanisms underlying metabolic health and disease progression. The labs research not only sheds light on the pathophysiology of metabolic diseases but also contributes to the identification of novel therapeutic targets and intervention strategies, thereby paving the way for innovative approaches to disease management.

Moreover, by bridging the translational gap between basic science discoveries and clinical applications, the research conducted by the Jethwa lab holds promise for improving patient outcomes and alleviating the burden of metabolic diseases on global health systems.

Expertise Summary

The Jethwa lab employs a comprehensive range of research methodologies to investigate various aspects of metabolic diseases, spanning from basic science to clinical research. Here's an overview of the key methodologies utilized:

  1. In vitro Models:
    • Adipocyte, Muscle, Pancreatic, Hypothalamic, and Hippocampal Cell Lines: Utilizing cell culture models to study cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying metabolic regulation, energy balance, and cognitive function. These in vitro models allow for controlled experimentation and mechanistic insights into cellular processes.
  2. In vivo Models:
    • Mice, Rats, and Siberian Hamsters: Employing animal models to study metabolic diseases in a physiological context and investigate the effects of interventions. In vivo models provide a platform to assess systemic responses, metabolic phenotypes, and behavioral outcomes in response to dietary, pharmacological, or genetic manipulations.
  3. Clinical Trials:
    • Conducting clinical trials to evaluate the efficacy and safety of interventions in humans with metabolic diseases, including obesity, diabetes, and related disorders. Clinical trials involve the systematic evaluation of interventions, such as dietary interventions, pharmacological treatments, or lifestyle modifications, to assess their impact on metabolic outcomes, cognitive function, and overall health.
  4. Molecular Biology Techniques:
    • Use of adeno-associated virus - AAV is a non-pathogenic virus that has gained popularity as a vector for delivering gene therapy, the lab utilises this to manipulated gene expression to determine outcomes.
    • Western Blot Analysis: Analyzing protein expression levels and post-translational modifications to study molecular pathways involved in metabolic regulation, energy balance, and cognitive function.
    • Quantitative PCR (qPCR): Quantifying gene expression levels and mRNA transcripts to investigate changes in gene expression profiles associated with metabolic diseases and therapeutic interventions.
    • ELISA Assays: Measuring the concentration of specific proteins or biomarkers in biological samples to assess changes in metabolic parameters, cytokine levels, or hormone secretion in response to experimental conditions.
  5. Use of Cross-sectional Data and Questionnaires:
    • Utilizing cross-sectional data and questionnaires to collect information on dietary habits, lifestyle factors, medical history, and other relevant variables from study participants. Cross-sectional studies provide valuable insights into the prevalence, risk factors, and correlates of metabolic diseases and cognitive outcomes within a population.

By integrating these diverse research methodologies, the Jethwa lab is able to gain comprehensive insights into the complex mechanisms underlying metabolic diseases and cognitive function. This multi-disciplinary approach enables the lab to address research questions from multiple angles, advancing our understanding of disease pathogenesis and informing the development of targeted interventions for metabolic health.

Research Summary

The ongoing projects within the Jethwa lab further exemplify its commitment to advancing knowledge in this field:

  1. Impact of Maternal Vitamin D on Health and Well-being of Offspring: This project focuses on investigating the influence of maternal vitamin D levels on neurodevelopment and cardiometabolic health in offspring. By examining the effects of maternal vitamin D status during pregnancy on neurodevelopmental outcomes and the long-term cardiometabolic health of offspring, the research aims to elucidate the role of vitamin D in shaping offspring health trajectories. Project involves cell culture and in vivo animal models.

  2. Examining the Relationship Between Novel Hypothalamic Peptides (e.g., VGF) , metabolic diseases, and cognitive function in models of diseases: This project seeks to understand the interplay between novel hypothalamic peptides, such as VGF, and cognitive function in the context of obesity. By exploring how alterations in hypothalamic peptide signaling contribute to metabolic and cognitive health, the research aims to identify potential targets for therapeutic intervention. Current projects use AAV as a method of gene therapy. Project involves cell culture and in vivo animal models.

  3. Examining the Effect of Underutilized Tubers as Potential Functional Foods in the Treatment of Metabolic Diseases: This project investigates the therapeutic potential of underutilized tubers (e.g. Discorea sp. aka yam) as functional foods for the treatment of metabolic diseases, particularly diabetes. By exploring the nutritional composition and bioactive properties of these tubers, the research aims to uncover their potential benefits in improving metabolic health and mitigating the progression of metabolic diseases. Project involves clinical trial, cell culture and in vivo animal models.

  4. Examining the effects of rare sugars as replacements for sucrose in the diet: This project investigates the potential of rare sugars as alternatives to sugar metabolic health and disease prevention, particularly focusing on glycemic regulation and development of non-alcoholic liver disease. Project involves clinical trial (NCT05353712), cell culture and in vivo animal models.

  5. Examining the effects of food insecurity on metabolic and mental well being in university students: Research on food insecurity among university students is indeed crucial, as it sheds light on an often-overlooked issue that can have significant implications for students' health and well-being. Here we have conducted cross-sectional studies using validated questionnaires, conducted clinical studies to determine influence on glycemia and mental health and conducted intervention studies to determine any improvements.

Through these ongoing projects, the Jethwa lab is poised to make significant contributions to our understanding of metabolic diseases and to the development of novel interventions for their prevention and treatment. By addressing key research questions in these areas, the lab is driving forward the field of metabolic health and offering hope for improved outcomes for individuals affected by these conditions.

Selected Publications

School of Biosciences

University of Nottingham
Sutton Bonington Campus
Nr Loughborough
LE12 5RD, UK

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