Head of the NIHR Cambridge BRC Nutritional Biomarker Laboratory
NIHR Cambridge BRC Nutritional Biomarker Laboratory and NIHR Cambridge BRC Core Metabolomics and Lipidomics Laboratory
Current work and interests
My main research focus involves developing cutting-edge analytical methods to measure specific metabolites and nutritional biomarkers, and using these methods to facilitate the further understanding of our metabolism and of the role of metabolism in disease.
I am leading the NIHR Cambridge BRC Nutritional Biomarker Laboratory (NBL), which focuses on the development and application of method for nutritional biomarker analysis. Within the NBL we use state-of-the-art analytical technology to develop new methods to measure nutritional biomarkers as well as maintaining gold-standard methods to measure specific nutritional biomarkers. The work of the NBL directly contributes to the Nutritional Epidemiology program of Prof Nita Forouhi and the NBL will take be responsible for the analytical work of National Diet and Nutrition Survey.
The current technical challenge is to comprehensively analyse all metabolites and lipids (aka metabolomics and lipidomics), which demands developments in experimental design, sample preparation, analysis, data processing and bioinformatics. I have been responsible for the development and application of novel analytical pipelines to measure metabolites and nutritional biomarkers (fatty acids, lipids, etc.) in very large population studies, some of which are still the largest in the world. We are currently using these results to understand how genetics and diet are associated with disease risk through metabolism.
This has resulted, for example, in new understanding of the metabolism of odd chain fatty acids and their relation to diabetes risk. I was the first to adapt lipid-profiling methodology to use dried blood spots to measure lipid metabolism in healthy infants, leading to the development of biomarkers for infant nutrition.
- Jenkins BJ, Seyssel K, Chiu S, Pan PH, Lin SY, Stanley E, Ament Z, West JA, Summerhill K, Griffin JL, Vetter W, Autio KJ, Hiltunen K, Hazebrouck S, Stepankova R, Chen CJ, Alligier M, Laville M, Moore M, Kraft G, Cherrington A, King S, Krauss RM, de Schryver E, Van Veldhoven PP, Ronis M, Koulman A. Odd Chain Fatty Acids; New Insights of the Relationship Between the Gut Microbiota, Dietary Intake, Biosynthesis and Glucose Intolerance. Sci Rep. 2017;7:44845.
- Acharjee A, Prentice P, Acerini C, Smith J, Hughes IA, Ong K, Griffin JL, Dunger D, Koulman A. The translation of lipid profiles to nutritional biomarkers in the study of infant metabolism. Metabolomics 2017;13:25.
- Koulman A, Prentice P, Wong MC, Matthews L, Bond NJ, Eiden M, Griffin JL, Dunger DB. The development and validation of a fast and robust dried blood spot based lipid profiling method to study infant metabolism. Metabolomics. 2014;10:1018-1025.