PH.D. Biochemistry, The University of Western Ontario
M.Sc. Pharmacology and Toxicology, The University of Western Ontario
B.Sc. Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Western Ontario
Office: Dental Sciences Building, Room 2011A
p. 519.661.2111 x. 82107
See Publications by Nica Borradaile on PubMed
Obesity and metabolic syndrome are epidemic in most countries throughout the world, resulting in widespread complications which place significant burdens on our health care systems. Increased blood lipids are characteristic of these metabolic diseases and can lead to excessive lipid accumulation in tissues other than adipose. Through a process termed lipotoxicity, this "ectopic" lipid leads to cell and tissue dysfunction in the liver, heart, blood vessels, skeletal muscle, and pancreas.
The two most common complications of obesity and metabolic syndrome are nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and vascular disease. Research in my lab focuses on understanding the biochemical and molecular pathways involved in liver and vascular responses to excess lipid. We use human hepatocytes, hepatic stellate cells, monocytes and macrophages, and aortic and microvascular endothelial cells grown in monolayer and 3D cultures to study the direct effects of fatty acid exposure on cellular stress responses. We also use these cell culture systems to screen natural compounds for their ability to mitigate lipotoxicity. To study disease processes and potential natural product treatments, we use western style diet-induced mouse models of obesity, NAFLD, and peripheral vascular disease.