Rotation 1: Dr. James McManaman's Lab (Fall 2007)
Rotation 2: Dr. Jed Friedman's Lab (Fall/Spring 2007/08)
Rotation 3: Dr. Virginia Winn's Lab (Spring 2008)
Thesis Advisor: Dr. Jed Friedman
My research in Dr. Friedman’s lab focuses on pregnancy complications and adverse outcomes associated with maternal obesity and a high-fat diet. The notion that an abnormal maternal/fetal intra-uterine environment may lead to permanent developmental changes and increased risk for fetal obesity is gaining acceptance. However, the mechanisms involved in generating these responses are far from understood and there is little information available to determine if and when preventive and therapeutic interventions might be successful. When pre-existing obesity accompanies advancing gestation, there is thought to be an increase in maternal inflammation and fuel metabolism, which may influence the intra-uterine environment. To better understand the mechanisms behind this, I am conducting experiments using a transgenic mouse model expressing an anti-inflammatory n-3 desaturase to examine the role of inflammation, obesity, and high fat diet on disease programming of the offspring. Using this model, I will be able to study both the physiological and the molecular effects of high-fat diet and reduced inflammation on maternal and fetal health.