BSc (Hons), PhD
Professor of Metabolic Physiology
- BHF Senior Basic Science Research Fellow
I am heading the Metabolic Research Group together with Professor Fredrik Karpe. My research focuses on the alterations in metabolism with nutritional state and substrates (e.g. sugars, fatty acids) along with the associated metabolic consequences of obesity. We perform whole body human physiological studies to understand the metabolic integration between tissues.
The current focus of my research is on understanding liver fat metabolism, as perturbations in this have the potential to impact widely on metabolic health. Accumulation of fat within the liver underlies the spectrum of conditions known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and this is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The liver is a major player in fat metabolism; it integrates endogenous and exogenous fatty acids and the accumulation or loss of liver fat represents the balance between input and removal pathways. However, the regulation of the metabolic partitioning of fatty acids within the human liver is poorly understood. We use a combination of approaches, including human in vivo, ex vivo, and in vitro cellular models along metabolically-labelled substrates (stable-isotope tracers) to probe relevant pathways involved liver fat metabolism. By understanding the regulation of these pathways, this may lead to interesting new therapeutic approaches to prevent and/or treat NAFLD.
I was awarded a British Heart Foundation Senior Fellowship in Basic Science in 2015. Prior to this, I was awarded the Gridlers’ Health Research Council (NZ) Career Development Fellowship, which enabled me to come and undertake post-doctoral work at the University of Oxford in 2004 and I held a British Heart Foundation Intermediate Fellowship in Basic Science from 2011-2015.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease concerns with glucokinase activators.
Hodson L. and Brouwers MCGJ., (2018), Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol, 6, 684 - 685
Studying non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: the ins and outs of in vivo, ex vivo and in vitro human models.
Green CJ. et al, (2018), Horm Mol Biol Clin Investig
Saturated Fat Is More Metabolically Harmful for the Human Liver Than Unsaturated Fat or Simple Sugars.
Luukkonen PK. et al, (2018), Diabetes Care, 41, 1732 - 1739
Relevance of human fat distribution on lipid and lipoprotein metabolism and cardiovascular disease risk.
Piché M-E. et al, (2018), Curr Opin Lipidol, 29, 285 - 292
Advanced NAFLD is common in bariatric surgical patients, suboptimally staged by non-invasive NAFLD biomarkers and associated with adverse post-operative outcomes
Dempster N. et al, (2018), BRITISH JOURNAL OF SURGERY, 105, 7 - 7