Researcher to study adipose memory
A PhD project will investigate whether fat tissue ‘remembers’ its condition and perhaps even tries to counteract persistent weight loss.
After a big weight loss, keeping the extra pounds off the waistline can be a challenge. The adipose tissue has changed, and there is a good deal of research showing what has happened to the tissue as a result of weight gain. In her PhD project, Ellen Gammelmark will explore an avenue where research is so far thin on the ground.
‘We know a lot about what happens in adipose tissue during weight gain, but very little is currently known about the processes that take place during weight loss following severe overweight. So, for example, we don’t know whether there is a ‘memory’ of the overweight stage that affects the function and health of the fat tissue after weight loss’, says Ellen Gammelmark, who completed her Master’s programme at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Southern Denmark in August.
The aim of the PhD project, which is co-funded by the Danish Diabetes Academy to the tune of DKK 1.1 million, is to understand how the different types of cell in fat tissue change during weight loss following severe overweight and how fat cells and macrophages in particular communicate with each other in this process.
‘We will obtain completely new insight into the changes in adipose tissue in response to weight loss following severe overweight, and in the long run this may contribute to the development of effective strategies to prevent weight gain following successful weight loss’, explains Ellen Gammelmark.
Putting knowledge of mouse adipose tissue to use
Ellen Gammelmark has previously used adipose tissue from mice in her research. She will bring this knowledge with her and use it to improve her understanding when studying adipose tissue from patients who have undergone bariatric surgery (obesity surgery, Ed.).
The supervisor of Ellen Gammelmark’s project is Professor and Centre Director Susanne Mandrup. In connection with the PhD project, Ellen Gammelmark will spend a brief period at the Centre de Recherche des Cordeliers in Paris, and there will also be outings to South-West Jutland Hospital in Esbjerg, where her co-supervisor, Associate Professor Mette Enok Munk Lauridsen, works.
By Pernille Fløjstrup Andersen, Communications Officer, DDA
Ellen Gammelmark MSc, born 1997
Has been awarded DKK 1.1 million by the Danish Diabetes Academy.
PhD project title: Adipose Tissue Plasticity and Cellular Crosstalk at Single-Cell Resolution during Regression of Obesity
Training institution: Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Southern Denmark / Centre de Recherche des Cordeliers, Paris, France
Contact: +45 5214 7961
Contact Danish Diabetes Academy
Managing Director Tore Christiansen
Phone: +45 2964 6764