Originally a biochemist, I have been involved in and coordinated diverse research projects in the field of nutritional sciences, from fundamental cell biology and physiology to the design and management of human studies. My research has aimed at elucidating the mechanisms through which food components interact with each other and affect metabolic and cardiovascular health.
I obtained my PhD in nutritional sciences from King’s College London in 2012 for a thesis entitled ‘Differential effects of fatty acids on the endothelium’: I examined the role of different fatty acid profiles, characteristic of lipid profiles observed in blood after various dietary patterns, on endothelial function in vitro. I later coordinated an intervention investigating the separate effect of the two main fish oils (EPA and DHA) on vascular, metabolic and platelet function, in a healthy young male population. As a postdoctoral fellow at the Rowett Institute (University of Aberdeen), I looked at the effect of iron deficiency during pregnancy in a rat model. We found that maternal iron deficiency affected vitamin A, copper and zinc metabolism and the expression of related genes in the maternal and foetal liver. In addition, I co-supervised a PhD student, who successfully submitted her thesis in 2016, investigating how amino acid affect iron transport in Caco-2 cells.
I joined the Division of Food and Drink in Abertay University as a lecturer in Nutrition in February 2017, which provides an exciting research environment in the field of food science and nutrition. My research now articulates around three axes, combining my previous interests with the expertise of food scientists and other nutritionists in our department:
• The role of EPA and DHA in cardiometabolic diseases
• The modulation of glycaemic response by food compounds (fibres, polyphenols)
• Micronutrient status and metabolism in pregnancy