Speaker: A/Prof Marloes Dekker

Title: Diet, metabolism and gut microbiome in pregnancy

Abstract: The metabolic changes in pregnancy ensure the growth of the fetus. Lack of carbohydrate intake is associated with ketone body formation, which in pregnancy has been linked to lower IQs in the children. However, there have only been limited studies on the relationship between carbohydrate intake and circulating ketones thus far. We undertook a study to investigate these links in more detail. Our results may have implications for the recommendations to pregnant women especially those with gestational diabetes.

Dietary carbohydrates come in the form of simple and complex carbohydrates with dietary fibre as the most complex form. Dietary fibre outside pregnancy has a major impact on the composition of the gut microbiome. The gut microbiome changes across gestation and the effect of diet and the intake of dietary fibre may not have the same effects on the microbiome especially not in women who develop hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. In this seminar I will talk about our studies into the relationship between dietary fibre, the gut microbiome and metabolites in pregnancy.

Biography:  A/Prof Marloes Dekker has a MSc from the University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands), a PhD from Lund University (Sweden) and a PG certificate in Clinical Trials from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (UK). She started working on metabolism in her PhD and loves the complex interactions between metabolism and human health especially in the context of pregnancy. Marloes joined UQ in 2011 as a research-focused academic in the UQCCR where her interest in the role of the gut microbiome in metabolic health in pregnancy began. When she moved to SCMB as a teaching and research academic in 2016, she continued studying the relationships between pregnancy, the gut microbiome and metabolism. She loves teaching metabolism to the new generation.

About School research seminars

Seminars cover all aspects of chemistry and molecular biosciences and are delivered by visiting national and international academics. PhD completion seminars are also incorporated into the program.

Seminars are usually held in person and via zoom. All are welcome to attend.  



Building 76, Room 228