Our special interest is the role that lipids and essential fatty acids play in interacting with cellular signalling systems. That is, we're interested in the key interaction between nutrition affecting membrane lipids and gene expression. Lipid composition is influenced by diet and that in turn influences the membrane proteins that are the ion channels, receptors, signalling and protective enzymes. With only 40,000 genes or less reported in the Human Genome result instead of an expected 150,000, the interface between nutrition and gene expression, which has been the hub of our basic research, now becomes a post-genome priority.
International collaboration is being developed to bring a multidisciplinary approach in cell physics, chemistry and molecular biology together with their applications to clinical science. The objective is to reach a better understanding of the links between contrasting diets in Europe, Asia and Africa with adverse pregnancy outcome and chronic disease. The specific aim is to understand the role that the different fatty acids play in membrane structure and cell function in order to reveal the mechanisms of chronic disease and neuro-developmental disorders.