MBChB, MRCP, PhD
University Research Lecturer
- British Heart Foundation Intermediate Clinical Research Fellow
Cell and Molecular Biology
My work focuses on understanding how obesity leads to the development of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In particular, my research aims to understand how a family of growth factors, known as Wnts regulates adipocyte number (adipose tissue 'expandability') and distribution within the body; two key determinants of susceptibility to obesity-associated cardiometabolic disease. In order to achieve this we employ human genetic and physiological approaches, accompanied by functional studies in human fat depot-specific cellular models. Recently we identified a key Wnt receptor, LRP5, as a novel human fat distribution gene.
Of interest LRP5 is a current drug target for the treatment of osteoporosis illustrating the translational potential of the research. In the longer term we hope to exploit our findings to develop novel therapies for obesity and cardiometabolic diseases.
I am currently a BHF Intermediate Clinical Research Fellow and Honorary Consultant in Endocrinology and Diabetes. Prior to this I competed my PhD at the University of Cambridge before taking up an Academic Clinical Lecturer post at the University of Oxford.
Conditionally immortalized brown preadipocytes can switch between proliferative and differentiated states.
Liu J. et al, (2019), Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Biol Lipids, 1864
Adipose tissue-derived WNT5A regulates vascular redox signaling in obesity via USP17/RAC1-mediated activation of NADPH oxidases.
Akoumianakis I. et al, (2019), Sci Transl Med, 11
The proposed systemic thermogenic metabolites succinate and 12,13-diHOME are inversely associated with adiposity and related metabolic traits: evidence from a large human cross-sectional study.
Vasan SK. et al, (2019), Diabetologia
Associations of Outdoor Temperature, Bright Sunlight, and Cardiometabolic Traits in Two European Population-Based Cohorts.
Noordam R. et al, (2019), J Clin Endocrinol Metab, 104, 2903 - 2910
The diabetes risk gene TCF7L2 regulates human adipose progenitor cell biology
Verma M. et al, (2018), DIABETOLOGIA, 61, S12 - S12