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Raziel Rojas-Rodriguez studies adipose tissue function in metabolism during pregnancy

By Alice Chappell

UMass Medical School Communications

August 16, 2018

The Women in Science video series on UMassMedNow highlights the many areas of research conducted by women at UMass Medical School.

Raziel Rojas-Rodriguez, a PhD candidate in the Program in Molecular Medicine, is studying how adipose tissue expansion during pregnancy is related to metabolic health. She is working in the lab of Silvia Corvera, MD, the Endowed Chair in Diabetes Research and professor of molecular medicine.

Rojas-Rodriguez is analyzing adipose tissue samples from healthy pregnant women and from pregnant women with gestational diabetes to identify key factors that are involved in glucose intolerance during pregnancy. She also utilizes mouse models to study the relationship between these elements and gestational diabetes.

Through her studies, Rojas-Rodriguez has identified similarities between the genes in the adipose tissue of pregnant women and pregnant mice, suggesting that the mechanism of adipose tissue growth are conserved between species. She hopes her research will lead to a better understanding of gestational diabetes and aid in the development of biomarkers for the early diagnosis and even treatment of diabetes during pregnancy.

“My interest in the field started since I was in elementary school, when in fifth grade I won a science fair prize for a literature review on what aspects can affect pregnancy,” she said.

Learn more about Rojas-Rodriguez’s work in this Women in Science video.

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