Mitochondrial energy metabolism is critical for life and altered metabolism is associated with many disease states. Our lab is focused on how maternal nutrition might impact mitochondrial metabolism in the offspring. Epidemiologic data demonstrates that a variety of environmental insults during development (intrauterine growth retardation, infants of diabetic mothers) predispose to diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. We have developed a Drosophila model to evaluate the impact of caloric excess on metabolism in the offspring. We are using this model to explore the mechanistic basis of transgenerational metabolic insults. Our projects focus on understanding the mechanism underlying changes in triacylglyceride homeostasis, evaluating mitochondrial number and function, evaluating cardiac function in offspring exposed to maternal caloric excess, and assessing potential epigenetic mechanisms.
We are always looking for new talent. Currently we are looking for a postdoctoral research associate, and are welcoming any new graduate students interested in obesity, metabolism and diabetes.
Jennifer G. Duncan, M.D.
Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Molecular Cell Biology
Washington University School of Medicine
McDonnell Pediatric Research Building
660 South Euclid Avenue, Campus Box 8208
St. Louis, MO 63110
Phone: (314) 747-0802
Fax (314) 286-2892