Genetics of Obesity (GOB)
Obesity and its complications such as fatty liver, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disorders are complex metabolic diseases that are polygenic and develop due to increased food intake and reduced physical activity. The genes identified so far can only explain a small part of the hereditary component of these diseases. Therefore, our group aims to gain further insights into the genetic factors and to investigate whether different interventions, such as intermittent fasting and exercise, can alter the expression of these genes.
Dr. Heike VogelHead of the Research Group
phone: +49 33 200 88 - 4545
Omar BaritelloDoctoral student (guest)
phone: +49 33 200 88 - 2140
Josefine WürfelLaboratory assistant
phone: +49 33 200 88 - 2328
Cross group collaboration
The group "Genetics of Obesity" is part of the junior research group "Molecular and Clinical Life Science of Metabolic Diseases" (SMD), which was initiated in 2021 in cooperation with the University of Potsdam and is headed by Dr. Heike Vogel. The international and interdisciplinary SMD junior research group is affiliated with the Health Sciences Network at the Faculty of Health Sciences. The group includes a total of seven PhD students, each associated to various departments of the Faculty of Human Sciences, the Faculty of Science, the Faculty of Health Sciences and the DIfE. The PhD students are each supported by an experienced postdoc (tandem partner). The different PhD projects of the junior group focus, among other things, on mechanisms and moderators of metabolic diseases that could facilitate or influences the development of sarcopenia. The University of Potsdam reported on the group in its magazine "Portal Wissen - Eins 2021": OLD AGE WITHOUT FRAGILITY - Young researchers are investigating how the interplay of genes, nutrition, and exercise can influence muscle loss as we age.
Overview of the other SMD projects:
DIfE (Depatment of Experimental Diabetology)
Prof. Dr. Annette Schürmann
Dr. Meriem Ouni
The aim of the PhD thesis is to investigate the changes in skeletal muscle gene expression and epigenome in obese individuals after bariatric surgery compared to lean controls. In addition, the effect of four weeks of training on the muscle expression profile and epigenome will be investigated in mice and humans. Other intervention methods (e.g. training, intermittent fasting, caloric restriction, protein restriction) will be compared between obese and lean mouse models to identify a possible treatment strategies that induces beneficial effects comparable to those observed after bariatric surgery.
University of Potsdam, Faculty of Human Sciences, Chair of Social and Preventive Medicine
Prof. Dr. Dr. Michael A. Rapp
Dr. Andreas Heißel
In this project, the researchers are investigating the influence of sarcopenia on the risk of depressive disorders and the effects of sports therapy interventions on the risk of depression and the degree of depressiveness. In order to establish hypotheses and describe the relationships between sarcopenia, depressiveness and the course of the disease, the researchers will analyse data from the following two studies:
University of Potsdam, Faculty of Human Sciences, Professorship for rehabilitation medicine
Prof. Dr. Heinz Völler
Dr. Annett Salzwedel
The project aims to investigate which frailty assessment is the best predictor of short and mid-term outcome (e.g. survival, mortality, neurological deficits, length-of-stay at ICU/in- hospital, quality-of-life etc.) for older patients eligible for cardiac surgery or transcatheter treatment. Further, it will be studied if a frailty index might be implemented in cardiac clinical prediction models (e.g. EuroSCORE, ACC) and how its outcomes will affect the clinicians' decision.
University of Potsdam, Faculty of Human Sciences, Professorship for Medical sociology and psychobiology
Prof. Dr. Pia-Maria Wippert
Dr. Linn Kühl
First, the aim of this project is to provide meta-analysis of the existing evidence regarding the influence of various exercise types on osteoporosis in depressed patients (underlying mechanisms, mediators and moderators). Subsequently, differences in the miRNA profile will be investigated in the plasma of individuals with psychological stress compared to non-affected controls. Third and lastly, the newly gained knowledge will be implemented in an exercise intervention for depressed people with osteoporosis to develop further therapy options.
University of Potsdam, Outpatient Clinic, Professorship for Sports Medicine and Sports Orthopedics
Prof. Dr. Frank Mayer
Dr. Tilman Engel
The PhD project aims to verify the feasibility and effectiveness of a high-load eccentric training compared to traditional concentric resistance/strength training to improve muscle strength and coordination in combination with a nutritional intervention in older, overweight, physical inactive people. In addition, the potential effect of specific diets on changes in muscle quantity, quality and health-promoting effects (e.g. lipid profile, inflammation) in combination with a time-limited high-load exercise will be studied.
University of Potsdam, Institute of Nutritional Science, Professorship of Biochemistry of nutrition
Prof. Dr. Gerhard P. Püschel
Prof. Dr. Janin Henkel-Oberländer
The aim of this project is to characterize the contribution of Cox2-dependent prostanoids such as PGE2 in the pathogenesis of high-fat, high-cholesterol diet-induced steatohepatitis (NASH). For this purpose, feeding studies in mice with specific deletion of Cox2 in hepatocytes, macrophages or both cell types will be used, as well as corresponding wild-type controls. Furthermore, the influence of the high-fat, high-cholesterol diet on the development of sarcopenia will be investigated in the above-mentioned wild-type control mice.
Publications of the Research Group
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