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Pippa Gunn

MSc, BSc (Hons)

DPhil Student

I am a DPhil student working under the supervision of Professor Leanne Hodson and Dr Charlotte Green. I started my project in 2015, which looks at genetic variants and metabolic dysfunction in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

Before starting my DPhil, I attended Loughborough University, completing a degree in Sport and Exercise Science in 2010. My interest in metabolism and disease led me to work as a Research Assistant for a Nutrition Consultant and later, in the Chronobiology group at the University of Surrey.

In 2014 I undertook a Masters degree in Human Nutrition at the University of Surrey, where I completed my research project on NAFLD. NAFLD is an increasingly prevalent disease that can progress through a number of stages, the first of which is steatosis, where excess fat accumulates within the liver. Steatosis is sometimes, but not always, associated with systemic metabolic dysfunction, such as insulin resistance and elevated blood triglycerides. My work focuses on how the activity of the enzyme diacylglycerol acyltransferase 2 (DGAT2), which may be altered as a result of a single nucleotide polymorphism, could influence the development of metabolic dysfunction in some NAFLD patients. To do this, I study both cellular models and human participants. This allows me to investigate the effects of the DGAT2 variant and nutritional substrates on whole-body metabolism, as well as the cellular processes that could underlie these changes.