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Andrea van Dam

BSc; MSc; PhD

Novo Nordisk Postdoctoral Research Fellow

I was awarded a Novo Nordisk Postdoctoral Research Fellowship starting in 2017, which aims to investigate the role of Hedgehog signalling in adipose tissue biology within the lab of Dr Costas Christodoulides and Professor Fredrik Karpe at the Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism (OCDEM). I will use human genetic and physiological approaches, accompanied by studies in cellular models to better understand the mechanisms by which low frequency and common genetic variants in Hedgehog pathway genes modulate white and brown adipose tissue biology and thereby susceptibility to obesity and insulin resistance.

I studied a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Utrecht (The Netherlands), from which I graduated in 2013. During my studies, I performed internships on the tropism of HIV at the University Medical Centre in Utrecht and on cellular signalling in brown and white adipocytes at Imperial College London. This stimulated my interest in immunology and lipid metabolism, upon which I wrote my master thesis on the interaction between adipocytes and immune cells during the development of insulin resistance. Following my undergraduate studies, I undertook a PhD on the role of inflammation in adipose tissue and lipid metabolism at the Department of Medicine in the Leiden University Medical Centre (The Netherlands), under the supervision of Dr Mariëtte Boon and Professor Patrick Rensen.