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About Sickkids
About SickKids

Zdenka Pausova, MD, FAHA

Research Institute
Senior Scientist
Translational Medicine

University of Toronto
Professor
Physiology & Nutritional Sciences


Phone: 416 813-7654 ext. 304340
Fax: 416 813-5771
Email: zdenka.pausova@sickkids.ca
Alternate Contact: Sara Chowns
Alternate Phone: 416 813-7654 ext. 305130
Alternate Email: sara.chowns@sickkids.ca

Brief Biography

Zdenka Pausova received her MD from the Purkyně University in Brno, Czech Republic in 1986. Following her clinical training in Prague, Czech Republic and research training at McGill University and the University of Montreal in Montreal, Canada, she was appointed as Research Assistant Professor at the University of Montreal in 1998. Then, she moved on to the University of Nottingham in Nottingham, United Kingdom where she was appointed as Principal Research Fellow in 2005. In 2010, she returned to Canada. She is currently Senior Scientist at SickKids and Professor of Physiology and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto. She is a Co-Principal Investigator on the Saguenay Youth Study, which is a CIHR- and HSFC-funded program investigating cardiometabolic and brain health (and genetic, epigenetic and lipidomic biomarkers) in 2,000 Canadian adolescents and their parents (http://www.saguenay-youth-study.org).

Research Interests

The research in the Pausova lab is focused on early stages and trans-generational trajectories of common cardio-metabolic and brain diseases. It is guided by the following biomedical considerations: (1) many common cardio-metabolic and brain disease originate in utero; (2) they involve interactions between adverse environments and vulnerability genes; (3) many of these diseases emerge during adolescence and become established during middle-aged adulthood; and (4) most of them are multi-systemic, affecting both the brain and body.

The main research interests are:

  • Visceral adiposity and its links to cardiometabolic health, brain structure and cognition
  • Eating behavior, addiction and the adolescent brain
  • Genetic and environmental factors modulating DNA methylome

Research Methodology

  • Cardio-metabolic Physiology
  • Nutrition
  • Brain structure
  • Epidemiology
  • Population Genetics and Epigenetics
  • Lipidomics

LAB MEMBERS
Students and Postdoctoral Fellows

  • Jean Shin (PDF, 2013-present)
  • Catriona Syme (PDF, 2015-present)
  • Simon Czajkowski (MSc student, 2013-present)
  • Stephanie Pelletier (MSc student, 2015-present)

Staff

  • Manon Bernard (database architect, bioinformatics; 2000-present)
  • Celine Bourdon (research technologist, 2011-present)

Volunteers

  • Dominique Wong (2013-present)
  • Olivia Li (2015-present)

Recent alumni

  • Melkaye Gebreselassie Melka (PDF, 2010-2012)
  • Amir Haghighi (MSc student, 2010-2012)
  • Mariel van Woundenberg (MSc student, 2010-2012)
  • Katie Goodwin (research assistant, 2011-2013)
  • Ken Lee (research assistant, 2012-2013)

Publications

1. Visceral adiposity and its links to cardiometabolic health, brain structure and cognition

  • Schwartz DH, Dickie E, Pangelinan M, Leonard G, Perron M, Pike GB, Richer L, Veillette S, Pausova Z, Paus T. Adiposity is associated with structural properties of the adolescent brain. NeuroImage103: 192-201, 2014
  • Schwartz DH, Leonard G, Perron M, Richer L, Syme C, Veillette S, Pausova Z, Paus T. Visceral fat is associated with lower executive functioning in adolescents. Int J Obesity 37:1336-1343, 2013
  • Goodwin K, Syme C, Abrahamowicz M, Leonard G, Richer L, Perron M, Veillette S, Gaudet D, Paus T, Pausova Z. Routine clinical measures of adiposity as predictors of visceral fat in adolescence: a population-based magnetic resonance imaging study. PLoS One 8: e79896, 2013
  • Melka MG, Abrahamowicz M, Leonard GT, Perron M, Richer L, Veillette S, Gaudet D, Paus T and Pausova Z. Clustering of cardiometabolic risk factors in adolescence: a role of visceral fat. PLoS One 8: e82368, 2013
  • Pausova Z, Mahboubi A, Abrahamowicz M, Leonard GT, Perron M, Richer L, Veillette S, Gaudet D, Paus T. Sex differences in the contributions of visceral and total body fat to blood pressure in adolescence. Hypertension 59:572-9, 2012
  • Melka MG, Bernard M, Mahboubi A, Abrahamowicz M, Paterson A, Syme C, Lourdusamy A, Schumann G, Leonard GT, Perron M, Richer L, Veillette S, Gaudet D, Paus T, Pausova Z. Genome-wide scan for genes of adolescent obesity and their relationship with blood pressure. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 97(1):E145-150, 2012

2. Eating behavior, addiction and the adolescent brain

  • Lee KWK, Abrahamowicz M, Leonard GT, Richer L, Perron M, Veillette S, Bouchard L, Gaudet D, Paus T, and Pausova Z. Prenatal exposure to cigarette smoke interacts with OPRM1 to modulate dietary intake of fat. J Psychiatry Neurosci, 40: 38-45, 2015
  • Haghighi A, Melka MG, Bernard M, Abrahamowicz M, Leonard GT, Richer L, Perron M, Veillette S, Xu CJ, Greenwood CMT, Dias A, El-Sohemy A, Gaudet D, Paus T, and Pausova Z. Opioid receptor mu 1 gene, fat intake and obesity in adolescence. Mol Psychiatry, 19: 63-8, 2014
  • Haghighi A, Schwartz DH, Abrahamowicz M, Leonard GT, Perron M, Richer L, Veillette S, Gaudet D, Paus T, Pausova Z. Prenatal exposure to maternal cigarette smoking, amygdala volume and fat preference in adolescence. JAMA Psychiatry. 70:98-105, 2013
  • Melka MG, Gillis J, Bernard M, Abrahamowicz M, Chakravarty MM, Leonard GT, Perron M, Richer L, Veillette S, Banaschewski T, Barker GJ, Büchel C, Conrod P, Flor H, Heinz A, Garavan H, Brühl R, Mann K, Artiges E, Lourdusamy A, Lathrop M, Loth E, Schwartz Y, Frouin V, Rietschel M, Smolka MN, Ströhle A, Gallinat J, Struve M, Schumann G, the IMAGEN consortium, Pavlidis P, Gaudet D, Paus T, Pausova Z. FTO, obesity and the adolescent brain. Hum Mol Genet. 1:1050-8, 2013

3. Genetic and environmental factors modulating DNA methylome

  • Shin J, Bourdon C, Bernard M, Wilson MD, Reischl E, Waldenberger M, Ruggeri B, Schumann G, Desrivieres S, Leemans A; IMAGEN Consortium; SYS Consortium, Abrahamowicz M, Leonard G, Richer L, Bouchard L, Gaudet D, Paus T, Pausova Z. Layered genetic control of DNA methylation and gene expression: locus of multiple sclerosis in healthy individuals. Hum Mol Genet. 2015 [Epub ahead of print].
  • Lee KWK, Richmond R, Hu P, French L, Shin J, Bourdon C, Reischl E, Waldenberger M, Zeilinger S, Bouchard L, Gaunt T, McArdle W, Ring S, Woodward G, Gaudet D, Davey-Smith G, Relton C, Paus T, Pausova Z. Prenatal exposure to maternal cigarette smoking and DNA methylation: epigenome-wide association in a discovery sample of adolescents and replication in an independent cohort at birth through 17 years of age. Environ Health Perspect 123: 193-9, 2015
  • Lee KWK and Pausova Z. Cigarette smoking and DNA methylation. Review. Front Genet 4: 132, 2013