Lipid droplets (shown in green) can build up in cells from malnourished humans and other animals

Alex Gould : Physiology and Metabolism Laboratory

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We investigate how diet and other factors in the environment affect our metabolism and health.

The environment that we develop in, as an embryo and fetus, shapes the way our adult body works and has long-term effects on our health throughout life.

Our research team aims to figure out how the developing body responds to stressful challenges in the environment like a poor diet or low oxygen.

We study environmental stress responses at multiple levels - molecules, genes, cells and organs - in order to discover how the environment affects the way the body's metabolism works. This is important for understanding how best to safeguard our health from potentially damaging environmental stresses and also from diseases linked to ageing and metabolic imbalances.

Most of the genes involved in metabolism are shared across the animal kingdom from ourselves to insects. Therefore, as well as studying cells from humans and mice, we make use of fruit flies as a model to learn more about human health and disease.

Our team uses a wide range of different technologies including genetics, to find out how genes work, and mass spectrometry imaging to see where molecules are located inside cells and organs.