I am interested in incorporating experimental data with metabolomic, genomic and proteomic databases in order to understanding pathways involved in placental nutrient metabolism and transfer in relation to fetal growth and the pre-disposition to metabolic syndrome in adulthood.
My work has characterised important pathways through which amino acids are metabolised in the human placenta. I have highlighted the importance of placental glutamine synthesis and how this may influence placental transfer of other amino acids, carbon and nitrogen flux and cellular regulation via the mTOR signalling pathway. As such, I have proposed a new model in which placental metabolism would be incorporated into the current experimentally and mathematically proposed model of net amino acid transfer to the fetus. In Addition I have characterised important modifiable maternal factors that may alter cellular metabolism through changes in placental amino acid metabolic enzyme and transporter gene expression. My long term interests are to understand molecular mechanisms involved in altered placental function and how this pathologically influences both maternal physiology and fetal growth in order to find therapeutic intervention to improve pregnancy outcomes.
1) Day PE, Cleal JK, Field EM, Hanson MA and Lewis RM. Does the basal membrane determine placental glucose transfer kinetics? Placenta 2013, S0143-4004( 13)00588-2.
2) Day PE, Cleal JK, Jackson JJ, Jackson AA, Hanson MA and Lewis RM. Partitioning of glutamine synthesized by the human placenta between the maternal and fetal circulations. Placenta, (2013) 10. 003.
3) Cleal JK, Day PE, Hanson MA, & Lewis RM (2010). Sex differences in the mRNA levels of housekeeping genes in human placenta. Placenta 31, 556-557