Maria Lankinen


Maria Lankinen, UEF Connect

Research group: Clinical Nutrition and Nutrition Therapy UEF Connect
 

Gene-diet interactions and molecular pathways linking fatty acid metabolism to inflammation and type 2 diabetes

The objective of my postdoctoral study (funded by Academy of Finland, 2017-2020) is to investigate gene-diet interactions and molecular pathways linking fatty acid metabolism to inflammation and type 2 diabetes (T2D) from single genotype approaches to overall genetic risk of T2D.

So far, we have shown that FADS1 genotype modifies the lipid mediator profile and inflammatory responses to dietary intake of linoleic acid (18:2n-6). This is a new concept warranting further studies and the aim is to investigate metabolic effects of FADS1 genotypes and dietary intake of n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids more deeply in order to capture possible novel biomarkers and molecular pathways, which are related to inflammatory processes and glucose-insulin homeostasis. Furthermore, my hypothesis is that healthy lifestyle, especially diet, prevents T2D efficiently both in people with high or low genetic risk, but more personalized recommendations, e.g. regarding PUFA intake according to genotypes affecting fatty acid metabolism may increase the benefit.

My postdoctoral study includes collaboration with Craig Wheelock, PhD, Associate Professor, who is the head of the Bioanalytical Chemistry Research Laboratory in Inflammatory Metabolomics, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Karolinska institutet, Sweden. His lab has experience and expertise in applying metabolomics-based technologies to probe diseases of inflammation and dyslipidemia.

The heart of this project is a strong expertise in clinical nutrition and diet interventions combined with the cutting-edge metabolomics applications, which together enable in-depth investigation of the effects of diet on human metabolism and health.