My research interests are to understand the link between diet - obesity - inflammation and cardiovascular disease. More specifically I'm interested at manipulating the obese phenotype with either diet (replacing saturated fats with less inflammatory monounsaturated fats) or supplementing high-fat diets with anti-inflammatory agents and determining the consequences for metabolic health and cholesterol metabolism. My studies focus on evaluating the effects of obesity and diet on the efflux capacity of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) particles ex vivo. We also use an in vivo model to track reverse cholesterol transport. In these studies J774 macrophages labeled with 3H-cholesterol are injected in vivo and movement of 3H-cholesterol from macrophages onto HDL particles and uptake of cholesterol into liver, bile and faeces is tracked. I have previously shown that inflammation markedly impairs this process and I hypothesize that high-fat diet induced inflammation will similarly impair reverse cholesterol transport. I am also interested in the consequences of inflammation on the cellular efflux capacity of macrophages and in particular am interested in the consequences for ABCA1-dependent efflux. Ongoing research is establishing the effects of M1 and M2 macrophage polarization on cholesterol efflux potential of macrophages. From a translational perspective I am interested in evaluating HDL function in human cohorts (lean, healthy obese and unhealthy (inflamed) obese individuals). These studies are ongoing and I am working closely with the Institute for Food and Health and Prof. Donal O'Shea's group at St. Vincent's Hospital to carry out these studies.