Lifestyle, Obesity, and Epigenetic Programming in Type 1 and Gestational Diabetes
Unraveling the interplay of early lifestyle, obesity, and epigenetic factors in the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes is essential to develop prevention strategies.
We are focusing on molecular mechanisms underlying the early programming of islet autoimmunity, type 1 diabetes, and childhood obesity.
The period from conception to the first years of life is crucial for the development of long-term metabolic health.
A better understanding of protective and risk factors encountered during early life is essential for the design of targeted intervention studies. The focus of this research area is to study the impact of early exposures, including maternal diabetes and life-style factors, on the development of type 1 diabetes and obesity. Particularly, the interplay of early exposures with genetic and epigenetic factors on early growth patterns and their role in type 1 diabetes development will be explored to increase our understanding of disease development and inform future prevention strategies.
Beside the interest on child health development, a second focus is to identify predictors and better understand mechanisms underlying long-term health outcomes in mothers after a diagnosis of gestational diabetes.