Over the past ten years my research has focused on the field of epigenetics, which investigates how environmental factors can affect gene activity thereby impacting our health and predisposition to diseases. Unlike genetic factors, epigenetic modifications are flexible and can store cell memories of life exposures such as diet, stress or environmental toxins. As such, they hold great potential in personalized health as biomarkers for exposure-driven chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
I am currently leading the epigenetic analysis of the largest study ever undertaken in personalized nutrition on low carb vs. low fat diets – the DIETFITS study by Prof Christopher Gardner. My primary goal is to understand how weight-loss affects gene activity through epigenetic modifications, and whether we can use these modifications to predict diet response for personalized weight-loss strategies.
I also teach Nutritional Genomics at Stanford Continuing Studies, Stanford Sport Medicine and at the Stanford Center for Professional Development. An award-winning science communicator, I use creative forms of communication such as digital drawings to explain complex topics from the world of epigenetics and science. Finally, I serve as an advisor for personal genomics companies, self-tracking technology businesses, and companies interested in investing in precision health research.
Epigenetic Biomarkers for Precision Medicine in Obesity, Stanford University
Sex/Gender Differences in Diet Adherence and Weight Loss, Stanford University
Nutrigenetic Analysis in the iPOP Study, Stanford University