Andrea M Haqq
Medicine & Dentistry-Pediatrics
University of Alberta
Summary of research:
I have a strong clinical research interest in the pathogenesis and treatment of childhood obesity and the prevention of type 2 diabetes. I have additional clinical translational research interest in all disorders of nutrient balance in children including: childhood obesity, Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS), hypothalamic-derived obesity, failure-to-thrive, cachexia, anorexia nervosa and bulimia. Some of my clinical translational research to date has centered on ghrelin, a newly described gastroenteric hormone that plays a key role in the long-term regulation of energy balance in humans. Myself and colleagues have shown that children with Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS), a genetic obesity syndrome, exhibit 4-5 times increased fasting circulating ghrelin levels compared to BMI-matched controls. We hypothesize that increased fasting ghrelin concentrations in PWS drives the chronic insatiable appetite and leads to the development of morbid obesity in individuals with this disorder. Further translational clinical research goals include understanding ghrelin and other neuropeptides' regulation during various dietary and therapeutic interventions for childhood obesity or cachexia states.