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Research GELIFES

GELIFES Seminars - Kellie Tamashiro

When:Th 06-10-2022 13:00 - 14:00

Kellie Tamashiro (Johns Hopkins Medicine, USA)

Perinatal diet and its impact on developmental programming of offspring physiology and behavior

A major focus of our research is to understand the mechanistic basis of the relationship between early life nutrition and subsequent risk of developing obesity, type 2 diabetes and psychiatric disorders. Epidemiological evidence suggests that maternal obesity or sub-optimal maternal nutrition during development, either over- or undernutrition, can lead to metabolic and behavioral deficits for children. While the negative consequences of early life nutritional stress are documented, the cellular and molecular mechanisms for such outcomes are not well-understood. We use rodent models for studying the behavioral, physiological, and neurobiological correlates of disease development in offspring in response to early life events. I will provide an overview of the effects of perinatal maternal high fat diet on rat offspring physiology and behavior. This will be followed by a discussion of a new line of research focused on the role of the gut microbiome in programming offspring development. We propose that alterations in the offspring’s gut microbiota composition during early life leads to deficits in development and function of the gut-brain axis thereby increasing susceptibility to obesity and other metabolic disorders by altering the neural controls of food intake and regulation of body weight.

Kellie Tamashiro is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Baltimore, Maryland, USA). She received her M.S. degree in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Hawaii (Honolulu, Hawaii, USA) and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, Ohio, USA) studying the metabolic consequences of chronic social stress in rodents. Dr. Tamashiro’s main research interest is in the developmental origins of health and disease. Studies in her lab examine how stressors during the perinatal period, such as altered nutrition, psychosocial stress, or immune challenge, can result in psychiatric disorders or metabolic disease, including obesity and diabetes. The long-term goal of this research is to develop rational interventions or therapeutics to prevent such conditions from occurring and to improve offspring health.