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Laura McKillop

NOVO NORDISK POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCH FELLOW (2018-2021)

  • Project: Investigating the relationship between glucose homeostasis and torpor in mice

Laura was awarded the Novo Nordisk Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in September 2018 This was a highly collaborative project spanning the fields of metabolism and neuroscience, supervised by Associate Professor Vladyslav Vyazovskiy in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics and Associate Professor Stuart Peirson in the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences and Dr James Cantley now based at the University of Dundee. The project aimed to investigate the role of glucose homeostasis in daily torpor, a fascinating physiological state during which metabolic rates and body temperature can dramatically decrease. Over the course of the Fellowship, Laura set up various complex surgical techniques in mice including continuous glucose monitoring, temperature telemetry and in vivo electrophysiological recordings in freely moving mice. By combining these techniques with indirect calorimetry, thermal imaging and activity monitoring, in wildtype mice as well as transgenic models (e.g. torpor prone ObOb mice) a complex relationship between the dynamics of daily torpor and association with blood glucose levels has been revealed.

Following her Fellowship, Laura joined the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) as a Regional Programme Manager for the Francis Crick Institute and Kings College London. In her new role, Laura aims to promote the 3Rs within the Institutes, while improving their engagement with these principles to ultimately improve animal research.