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Cambridge Reproduction


My main research focus involves developing cutting-edge analytical methods to measure specific metabolites and nutrients, and using these methods to facilitate the further understanding of our metabolism and of the role of metabolism in disease. The current technical challenge is to comprehensively analyse all metabolites and lipids (aka metabolomics and lipidomics), which demands developments in experimental design, sample preparation, analysis, data processing and bioinformatics. I have been responsible for the development and application of novel analytical pipelines. These methods enables us to measure metabolites (fatty acids, lipids, etc.) in very large population studies, some of which are still the largest in the world, as well as to measure lipids in single cells (single cell lipidomics). We are currently using these results to understand how genetics and diet are associated with disease risk through metabolism. This has resulted, for example, in new understanding of the metabolism of odd chain fatty acids and their relation to diabetes risk. I was the first to adapt lipid-profiling methodology to use dried blood spots to measure lipid metabolism in healthy infants, leading to the development of biomarkers for infant nutrition. We are using dried blood spots to develop biomarkers of infant nutrition and infant body composition. To further understand the role of infant nutrition we also develop methods for human milk analysis.