Zoe Lofft, MSc., PhD(c)

Department of Human Nutrition, Faculty of Land and Food Systems
The University of British Columbia

High folic acid and 5-methyltetrahydrofolate impact glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in vitro and differentially impact peripheral blood mononuclear cell gene expression in women during pregnancy

Population folate levels in Canada have increased due to food fortification and folic acid supplementation, particularly in pregnant people. Discrepant evidence exists on folate levels and gestational diabetes development. This talk will explore how high folate exposure to different folate forms impacts insulin secretion in vitro, and candidate mechanisms mediating the effects. Additionally, this talk will examine the different mRNA regulatory effects of different folate forms in peripheral blood mononuclear cells during pregnancy.

Speaker/Chair Bio:

Zoe Lofft is a PhD candidate in the Human Nutrition Program at the University of British Columbia in the lab of Dr. Angela Devlin. Her research focuses on the molecular mechanisms undermining the direct and transgenerational effects of high folate status on pancreatic islet function. Prior to joining the Devlin Lab, she completed a Master of Science Degree at the University of Toronto under the supervision of Dr. Elena Comelli where she investigated the effects of a polyphenol and its microbial metabolites on the intestinal miRNome. Zoe's current research interests include nutritional epigenetics and computational bioinformatics.