Oh, I feel like it hasn’t been another rock star week at work. Everything is just so busy at the moment in my personal life I don’t seem able to ‘catch up’ at home anymore… the wedding is taking over way amounts of time, and I seem to have been emailing Britain a lot – friends going through stuff, Mum finishing up her last ever week at work… I haven’t even had much time for the gym, which is very unlike me, and not good with a dress to fit into in 9 weeks.

So, what did I actually get done?

-My expenses from the AHA conference. Chasing and correcting receipts sucked the time out of me.

-An acceptance for the American Diabetic Association’s (ADA) annual conference. I used to think conferences were not a big deal, as in psychiatry everyone seemed to get accepted. Then AHA turned me down as a poster presentation for their annual conference, causing me to scream at my mentors “What, they don’t even think my research is worth a small wall space??”, and Donna told me that their acceptance rate was below 20%. So, my poster “Polymorphisms in the Lipoprotein Lipase gene associate with VLDL, LDL and HDL diameter clustering” got accepted, and I made a poster which you can see here, but in summary, it is an extension of the work submitted to AHA. This showed that a certain pattern of cholesterol sizes marks those with the most extreme inulin resistant features into a ‘high risk group’ from all those with the metabolic syndrome. I now have preliminary data that shows that the lipoprotein lipase gene may predict who falls into that high risk group, from all those with the metabolic syndrome. This is not surprising as lipoprotein lipase hydrolyzes the triglycerides in the VLDL particles, forming LDL and eventually IDL – so is implicated in the pattern of sizes between VLDL, LDL and HDL. I am excited!! My PhD taught me to develop new measures of complex traits that may help us find genes for those traits. I am applying this at UAB – making a new measure of insulin resistance, and now it *seems* to be helping us find genes. But early days yet…

-I revised a manuscript on the AHA data and received an offer to resubmit a manuscript on the interaction between saturated fat and carbohdyrate intake in blood lipids (yaaaay).

-I wrote two manuscript proposals, one to extend this lipoprotein lipase finding to other genes, and do ‘pathway’ analysis – that is, try to map several genes involved in the pathway to LDL / VLDL / HDL: sizes and another to search for genes influencing  the diameter of individual lipoproteins (VLDL / LDL and HDL) in a GWAS analysis.

-I worked on my proposal that looks at where in the blood your cholesterol comes from. If you have high LDL cholesterol, it does not seem as metabolically damaging if it comes from large LDL particles, as if it comes from small. I am investigating this further, and refining my intended protocol.

-Finally I reviewed two more manuscripts. I am exhausted and pushed for time, and for the first time ever, I didn’t do my very best at the review. I pointed out the major misinterpretive / methodological flaws that had to be fixed before publication could be considered, and then said I would be happy to go through it with a finer tooth comb if an adequate revision was submitted. I feel guilty.

Next week I am hoping to push some analysis further, finally write my paper on DRD4 and ADHD and resubmit the carbohydrate and fat paper and present at the SOPH research day . I feel like I am stagnating… but as my friend Warwick Draw says: “Sometimes Stuff moves at the speed of Science” i.e. seemingly not at all…

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