Laboratory of Dr. Kirsty L. Spalding, Karolinska Institutet
The research of Dr. Kirsty Spalding focuses on properties of human adipose tissue, with particular attention to adipocyte biology. Basic functions, such as adipocyte lipid and cell turnover, adipocyte cell biology, adipocyte responses to obesity and hyperinsulinemia, and cellular heterogeneity are investigated. The ultimate aim the Spalding lab has, is to better understand the contributions of adipocytes to health and pathology. The Spalding lab is embedded in Karolinska Institutet and the department of Cellular and Molecular Biology.
AVAILABLE POST DOC POSITION STUDYING DNA DAMAGE AS A DRIVER OF ADIPOCYTE SENESCENCE
Monday the 20th of March 2023
The Spalding Lab currently has an available post doc position for a researcher who wants to invesitgate the role of DNA damage in adipocyte senescence and inflammation in obese, hyperinsulinemic individuals. Senescent cells, which can release factors that cause inflammation and dysfunction, increase in adipose tissue and associate with obesity and hyperinsulinemia. The proposed project will determine whether oxidative stress and DNA damage in human adipocytes drives adipocyte senescence, and the associated pro-inflammatory secretory profile. A small molecule approach to attenuate adipocyte DNA damage and reverse adipocyte senescence will be investigated. You can read more about the research project here. Want to apply, then click here. The deadline for applying is midnight CEST on Sunday 30th April, 2023.
NEW REVIEW ON ADIPOCYTE GROWTH IN FRONTIERS IN CELL AND DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY
Tuesday the 22nd of November 2022
Kirsty and Qian Li (a former PhD student in the lab and now PI at Fudan University, Shanghai) have published a mini review on adipocyte growth in white adipose tissue. In this article they describe how adipocytes can accommodate the dramatic changes in their phenotype and how cellular growth can lead to (metabolic) dysfunction and changes in the vasculature. The article can be read here.
GRANT FROM THE ASPIRE PROGRAM OF THE MARK FOUNDATION
Wednesday the 22nd of December 2021
Kirsty has recently been awarded a grant from the ASPIRE (Accelerating Scientific Platforms and Innovative Research) programme from the Mark Foundation. This award supports high-risk, high-reward cancer research that answers proof-of-concept questions in the cancer field. This year the Mark Foundation has for the first time awarded grants outside of the US and the lab is very excited to be among the groups receiving funding. The lab will use the funding for its project “Targeting fat cells to reduce breast cancer progression and metastasis in humans”. Karolinska Institutets press release can be read here.
NEW PUBLICATION ON ADIPOCYTE SENESCENCE IN NATURE MEDICINE
Monday the 4th of October 2021
Obesity strongly associates with many diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. A study from our group, published in Nature Medicine today, shows that mature human adipocytes can activate a cell cycle program in association with obesity and hyperinsulinemia. Whilst fat cells can activate the expression of specific cell cycle markers and synthesise new DNA, they do not divide and rather exist as larger cells with increased genomic content. This process, termed endoreplication, is a strategy used by both plants and animals when cells are required to increase significantly in size, but has not previously been shown for mature adipocytes. The ability of adipocytes to activate a cell cycle program and endoreplicate could confer a physiological advantage to a cell type that needs to undergo tremendous increases in size during development and weight gain, as adipocytes can increase in size more than 200-fold across their lifespan! We further show that in response to chronic hyperinsulinemia adipocytes can exit the cell cycle and senesce. Senescent adipocytes secrete factors known to be pro-inflammatory, potentially driving inflammation and pathology in human adipose tissue and impacting whole body health. Using drugs currently on the market for other purposes, we show that manipulating adipocyte cell cycle entry and progression enables one to influence the formation of senescent cells. You can read the paper here.
NEW METHODS PRIMER OUT ON RADIOCARBON DATING
Thursday the 9th of September 2021
One of the main techniques the Spalding lab has used the past years is radiocarbon dating. In short, this method uses 14C measurements to calculate the age of biological samples. Together with an international group of scientists, Kirsty Spalding has recently published a Nature Reviews Method Primer article about radiocarbon dating. In this article the technique is described, as well as its applications, considerations and future development. You can read the paper here.