Dysregulation of cellular metabolism is a hallmark of many diseases including obesity, insulin resistance and type II diabetes. However, the molecular mechanisms underpinning some of these processes are not understood, although contributions from environmental factors involving genetic/epigenetic control of metabolic fluxes are beginning to be identified. Our current focus is to understand the mechanisms underlying the interaction between genes, internal homeostatic mechanisms and the environment in obesity and insulin resistance. Using comprehensive phenotypic studies, metabolic signatures and molecular imaging, we focus on individual organ systems (fat, liver, pancreas) to investigate the role of major predisposing factors (genetic/epigenetic) and targeted interventions. This work will contribute significantly towards meeting the challenges of attenuating the forthcoming obesity epidemic, and identifying new biomarkers and targets for its prevention and treatment.
Dr Alistair Nunn, Reading University, Polyphenol mode of action in metabolic disorders and cancer, 2012 - 2016
Vincenzo Di Marco, Endocannabinoid Research Group, Istituto di Chimica Biomolecolare, CNR Via Campi Flegrei 34, Comprensorio Olivetti, 80078 Pozzuoli (NA), Italy80078 Pozzuoli (NA), Italy, Canabinnoids, 2010
Dr Annie Blight, London Metropolitan University, London, UK, 2000
Ben van Ommen, Biosciences, TNO Quality of Life, Zeist, The Netherlands, EU Nutritech - Phenotype and Genotype in insulin resistance and Type II Diabetes, 2010 - 2014
Sebastian Cerdan, Instituto de Investigaciones Biomedicas Alberto Sols, Madrid, Spain, Metabolism, Obesity and Appetite regulation, 2008 - 2017
Professor Elizabeth Williamson, University of Reading, 2007
Dr Margot Umpleby, University of Surrey, 2004
With Prof Gary Frost, TOFI, Collaboration with Prof G Frost (Imperial) and Prof S Taylor-Robinson (Imperial) has allowed us to identify and fully characterise a novel subphenotype at increased risk of insulin resistance, despite their normal BMI. This subtype has become known as TOFI (thin-outside-fat-inside) is characterised by a normal BMI but excess levels of visceral and liver fat and is having increasing relevance in the diagnosis and prognosis of pre-diabetes and type II diabetes.
Gadonano, Imperial College; King's College, Collaboration with Prof A Miller (Imperial/King’s) has led to the development and successfully patented a unique multimodality nanoparticle (‘Gadonano’) for application in in vivo theranostic. We are currently under discussion with potential investor for the Gadonano imaging nanoparticle technology to be developed into the clinic.