Louisa Zolkiewski - PhD

Biography and Research Interests

I first became interested in the underlying genetics of disease during my undergraduate research project at The University of Newcastle investigating the role of mutations causing endoplasmic stress in progressive hearing loss. During my MSc at The University of Manchester I developed a range of in vitro skills whilst working on the regulation of bone growth and development associated with dwarfism. Following this I worked as a Research Technician at The University of Manchester, where I modelled diabetic neuropathy in vivo to understand how neurodegeneration occurs. My current PhD work focuses on understanding how common polymorphisms in humans regulate fat distribution as a risk factor for metabolic diseases. I am a registered scientist and a member of the Royal Society of Biology, the Genetics Society and the British Society of Neuroendocrinology. I am the environmental representative at Harwell and work closely with a diverse committee to implement a range of schemes to reduce the impact of our research on the environment.

Current Projects

1. Genetic regulation of fat distribution in metabolic disease: I am modelling a GWAS-identified coding variant in vitro and in vivo to understand its regulatory role in adipogenesis. I am investigating the effects of the variant on protein structure and function, and gene regulation in a human preadipocyte cell line. This variant has also been modelled in mice and I am investigating how the variant affects fat distribution and metabolic traits.

Selected Publications

Graham AD, Pandey R, Tsancheva VS, Candeo A, Botchway SW, Allan AJ, Teboul L, Madi K, Babra TS, Zolkiewski LAK, Xue X, Bentley L, Gannon J, Olof SN, Cox RD (2019). The development of a high throughput drug-responsive model of white adipose tissue comprising adipogenic 3T3-L1 cells in a 3D matrix. Biofabrication. 12(1): 015018.