Ouliana Ziouzenkova was educated at the Kiev State University in Kiev, Ukraine, where she received a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Biochemistry, and at University of Graz, Austria where she earned a Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry. She had a post-doctoral training at the University of Southern California, US and at Harvard University, US.
Dr. Ziouzenkova and her research team study gene regulation by nutrients and their implications for obesity and type 2 diabetes. A quarter of the United States population suffers from obesity, Type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease, and the number of patients with metabolic disorders increases two-fold in each generation. An important contributing factor to the global obesity epidemic is heritable changes in gene expression that occur without any alteration to the DNA sequence (or epigenetics). It is still unclear how environmental factors, such nutrients, influence these processes.
Dr. Ziouzenkova’s research team aims to understand how the epigenetic properties of nutrients regulate energy storage and expenditure and lead to offspring’s susceptibility to obesity. Her goals are to translate this research directly to development of antiobesity therapies. Currently in collaboration with an established nanotechnology group, they use nanodevices to reach this goal and provide a new method for the treatment of major metabolic disorders, e.g. type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
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