Lisa Marie Nicholas leads the Epigenetics in Diabetes research group at the University of Adelaide. Prior to this, she completed post-doctoral training mentored by Professor Hindrik Mulder at Lund University Diabetes Centre to understand the role of mitochondria in maintaining beta-cell function. Following her time in Sweden, Dr Nicholas moved to the University of Cambridge, funded by an Australian Health and Medical Research Council C J Martin Fellowship, to study the mechanisms underpinning the relationship between exposure to maternal obesity and beta-cell dysfunction in the offspring, with Professor Susan Ozanne.
Building on her expertise in this area, Dr Nicholas’ research group is focused on defining the epigenetic determinants of pancreatic beta-cell dysfunction in offspring exposed to maternal hyperglycaemia and how this is driving an intergenerational cycle of diabetes. This is being achieved using both animal models of developmental programming and by studying the blood epigenetic landscape of Australian Aboriginal children born to mothers with diabetes in pregnancy.