Ida Blom, MSc

University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Title of project

Mitochondrial thermogenesis in weight loss (MITCHELL)


Obesity is considered a principal public health concern and ranked as the fifth foremost reason for death globally. Lifestyle interventions as well as pharmacological treatment can lead to a substantial weight loss. Yet, a weight loss is often difficult to maintain in the long term. This has, at least in part, been suggested to be attributed to a counteractive regulatory mechanism by the human body, which will react to a weight loss by reducing resting energy expenditure.

An estimated ∼20-30% of whole-body resting energy expenditure can be attributed to mitochondrial proton leak. Still, the regulation of mitochondrial proton leak in response to changes in energy expenditure remains unclear in animal models and unknown in humans. This proposed PhD project will investigate how mitochondrial dynamics contributes to weight loss-induced changes in energy expenditure in human skeletal muscle as well as in peripheral tissues in rats.

This PhD project aims to discover novel mitochondrial mechanisms modulating energy expenditure. A detailed understanding about such mechanisms could ultimately be of great relevance for the discovery of novel drug target which could benefit the global fight against obesity.

Ida Blom, MSc

Industrial scholarship with co-funding from Novo Nordisk A/S

Principal supervisor

Steen Larsen, University of Copenhagen, Dept. of Biomedical Sciences

Co-supervisor: Jens Frey Halling, Novo Nordisk A/S

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