James Minchin Reseach Group
Information on the research interests, projects, and members of James Minchin's Research Group.
Dr James Minchin
Senior Research Fellow (EPICT) Edinburgh Principal Investigator
Adipose tissues are lipid-rich structures distributed throughout the human body, that supply and sequester energy-dense lipid in response to energy status. Accumulation of lipid within adipose tissue provides 'energy insurance' to an organism in times of physiologcal burden (ie, low food availability, migration or cold temperatures); however, in modern societies - when food availability is high and energy expenditure is low - excessive accumulation of lipid within adipose can cause tissue dysfunction and increased risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.
Although diet and other environmental factors have a substantial influence on energy balance and lipid accumulation within adipose, the genotype of an individual also exerts a strong influence and can determine the propensity to accumulate lipid, the site of lipid storage and disease susceptibility. The long-term goal of our lab is to understand the genetics that influence a range of adiposity traits, including; obesity, early-onset obesity and body fat distribution. A greater understanding of genetic susceptibility to these adipose-related disorders will help to identify vulnerable individuals and circumvent adipose-related disease prior to its onset.