PhD Colloquia 2016
a forum between young researchers and scientists
This is a mini series of 6 seminars given by top experts in different fields covering almost all the area of the PhD program. Each colloquium is a friendly forum where students can learn how to communicate and critically evaluate science. Additionally, it is an opportunity to discuss ongoing research in an informal atmosphere and obtain valuable feedbacks from the experts.
PhD Colloquia bring together young scientists, senior scientists and students in a colloquial setting, encouraging interactions and exchanges of ideas.
The second seminar will take place on 17 March at 5 pm in the room B102 of the Polo Ferraris at Povo2.
Invited speaker: Jules Griffin (MRC Human Nutrition Research, Cambridge UK & the Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, UK).
Title: "Fat, Sugar and Metabolomics – Understanding how diabetes arises at the population level".
There is a global epidemic of type 2 diabetes (T2DM), with the World HealthOrganisation estimating currently 347 million people worldwide with diabetes. While a number of genes have been identified that play a role in the development of T2DM, most are associated with rare monozygotic forms, and do not model the complex interactions between genotype and the environment, responsible for the development of T2DM in many human cases. In genome wide association studies (GWAS) common genetic variants are compared across many individuals with traits such as disease; one favoured approach is to examine associations between the genome and quantitative phenotypic data in order to understand how common genetic variants influence the ultimate phenotype of the organism. Metabolomics is particularly attractive in such studies as the metabolome is a combination of the genome, diet, interactions with the environment and pathology. We will present methodologies that we are applying using gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS), liquid chromatography (LC-) MS and direct infusion (DI-) MS to profile large epidemiological cohorts to explore the link between diet, environment and genotype. These studies require robust and relatively high-throughput based approaches, and include the largest analysis of fatty acids by GC-MS to examine the interaction between diet and disease for type 2 diabetes risk using the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort, DI-MS to monitor intact lipid profiles in the Fenland and Pakistan Risk of Myocardial Infarction Study cohorts and quantify aqueous metabolites and polar lipids using a commercially available kit from Biocrates in the Fenland cohort. These studies have highlighted the role de novo lipogensis plays in generating triglycerides which are associated with an increased risk of T2DM, cardiovascular disease and other aspects of the metabolic syndrome.
Next seminar on 26 April. Speaker: Oscar Ces (Imperial College London)
Initiative organized by the 29th Cycle PhD students of the PhD Program in Biomolecular Sciences