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Lindsay McDermott


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Personal profile

Research interests

Lipids such as fatty acids are involved in energy storage and production, membrane biogenesis, signal transduction, and the regulation of gene expression. The molecular mechanisms underlying lipid transport and metabolism within the body are unknown.  Abnormal lipid transport and metabolism are associated with obesity and cachexia. The overall focus of research in this laboratory is on long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid transport and metabolism. We use a combination of biochemical, biophysical, cell and molecular biological techniques. Current projects include:

  1. Hypoxic regulation of fatty acid transporting proteins in the placenta. 
  2. The role of zinc α2 glycoprotein in lipolysis.


Research interests (short)

1. Placental transport and metabolism of fatty acids

2. Structure and function of zinc α2 glycoprotein (ZAG)

Biographical details

When at the University of Glasgow, I investigated the structure and function of a novel fatty acid binding protein from the nematode Ascaris using circular dichroism and fluorescence. At Rutgers University I explored the kinetic mechanisms by which this protein and other parasitic proteins transferred their lipid ligands to model membranes. Back at the University of Glasgow I identified the location of the hydrophobic ligand binding site in zinc α2 glycoprotein (ZAG), a human plasma protein with hormonal (adipokine) function in triggering the breakdown of fat cells (lipolysis). Now at King’s College London, I am focussing on further molecular aspects of ZAG and have initiated molecular and cell biology based studies exploring the regulation of fatty acid transporting proteins in the placenta.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Glasgow

Award Date: 1 Jan 1999

Bachelor of Science, University of Glasgow

Award Date: 1 Jan 1995


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