Our laboratory studies the pregnant female and their offspring (in utero and in adulthood).
Pregnancy is an inflammatory state. The state is more severe when a female is obese. Our goals are to understand how pregnancy and obesity interact to affect processes that change during gestation, such as glucose intolerance, inflammation, and altered lipid metabolism. Recently, we have begun to study the multiparous female since in humans, as in rodents, multiparity is a risk factor for obesity and inflammation. Our models will be useful tools to help delineate the causes of inability to loose weight post-partum in obese women.
Recent studies show that offspring of obese females are at an increased risk to become obese in later life. Thus, we are studying how obesity affects metabolism in the offspring at various stages of life, including the fetus, neonate, and adult. Some of our studies analyze the offspring of multiparous females with marked obesity and inflammation in that affects in offspring will be independent of maternal diet.