Diet and gene interactions that influence cellular energy metabolism

Lead Research Organisation: University of East Anglia
Department Name: Graduate Office

Abstract

Diet and gene interactions are emerging as key in determining the role of certain diets in maintaining health and reducing the risk of developing disease. Such diets include those that are rich in cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, which have been associated with a reduction in risk of developing chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. We have recently identified an important gene that interacts with broccoli-rich diets to change the metabolic profiles in plasma of healthy volunteers. This has implications for understanding the beneficial effects of diets in preventing chronic diseases and together with other genetic polymorphisms could explain some of the heterogeneity seen in response to diet. This project will use the latest genome editing tools to engineer novel cell lines with diverse genotypes and will use them to comprehensively study their role in energy and lipid metabolism. There will be opportunities to study the effect of the environment on central metabolism and also undertake detailed mechanistic studies on the metabolic effects of selected dietary phytochemicals. The student will benefit from working as part of a vibrant research team on food and health with strong interactions across the Norwich Research Park.

Publications

10 25 50

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M011216/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2023
1653477 Studentship BB/M011216/1 01/10/2015 31/12/2019 Sophie Prosolek
 
Description I have discovered that sulphur-containing compounds found in broccoli affect central cell metabolism in a liver cancer cell line
Exploitation Route My findings will form the basis for further research
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink

 
Description Diet and Gene Interactions in the Control of Central Cell Metabolism - Labroots (Gibco, Thermofisher) Webinar 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I developed and presented a 'Cell Culture Heros' webinar for Gibco, Thermofisher in which I discussed the principles of my project and the work conducted in our group with a focus on cell culture methods
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.thermofisher.com/uk/en/home/references/gibco-cell-culture-basics/cell-culture-heroes/sop...
 
Description Guest Lecture in Science Communication at the University of East Anglia 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact I delivered a guest lecture on the UEA undergraduate Science Communication module. The lecture focused on my experience as founding president of the UEA Science Communication society, and how to engage in student led public engagement activities to enhance one's CV whilst still in full-time education. I also discussed the benefits of science communication skills for an early stage research career.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description National radio broadcast on the BBC Georgey Tonight show on behalf of Pint of Science Norwich 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact I appeared as an interviewee live on the BBC Georgey Tonight show, reporting from the Pint of Science Norwich Festival as the city coordinator. During the interview I explained the importance of science in society, the value and the quality of Norwich-based scientific research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Norwich Science Festival - 'Bioactive Smell-Test' Childrens' Activity 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I helped develop and run the 'Bioactive Smell-Test' activity on behalf of the Quadram Institute at the Norwich Science Festival. The activity was aimed at junior school children, but was also suitable for both older and younger audiences with a little adaptation. The aim of the activity was to demonstrate that different 'healthy foods' have strong smells, which represent some of the 'healthy chemicals' within them, such as polyphenols and isothiocyanates.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description PIPs Internship - Pint of Science 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact As supplement to my doctoral studies I conducted a 3 month internship with The MADE Agency, a digital marketing agency supplying branding, print and digital design services, social media and marketing support to a varied clientele in higher education, research and healthcare disciplines.

During my time at MADE I worked to develop and execute a successful communications strategy on behalf of the 'Pint of Science' educational outreach festival.

I acquired a number of transferrable skills during my time in the MADE studio, gaining experience using Adobe Creative Cloud software such as InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop for the production of advertising material.

I also had the opportunity to work with various media outlets such as BBC Look East (regional TV), BBC Norfolk (regional radio) and Future (local radio). I am familiar with pitching to both visual and audio media channels and have appeared on behalf of Pint of Science on both live and pre-recorded radio.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description School Visit (Heathersett Junior School) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact I helped design an outreach activity aimed at junior school children (age 6-8 years) about digestion and the health giving properties of superfoods. The activity, alongside a short presentation of explanatory slides, was delivered to two classes of approximately 25 children who were welcomed at ask questions afterward. The children were asked to report upon how their enjoyment of the session and were each asked to provide one new thing that they had learned at the end of each session. The feedback from the children was overwhelmingly positive
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Science in the Media: Radio and podcasting workshop for scientists 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I delivered a practical workshop based around radio and podcast production aimed at working scientists. The aim of the workshop was to share the skills needed to start podcasting science-themed content in an informative and balanced journalistic manner
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018