Dr. Zdenka Pausova received her medical degree at Purkyne (now Masaryk) University in Brno, Czech Republic. She trained in internal medicine in the Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine in Prague, Czech Republic, and in genetics at McGill University and the University of Montreal in Montreal, Canada.
Dr. Pausova’s research investigates the relationships between cardiometabolic and brain health across lifespan, combining clinical and preclinical studies.
Dr. Pausova leads cardiovascular and genetic components of the Saguenay Youth Study, which is a longitudinal, two-generational study of 2,000 adolescents and their parents, investigating the etiology, early stages and trans-generational trajectories of common cardiometabolic and brain diseases. The study combines deep ‘systems’ phenotyping (including magnetic resonance imaging of the brain and body) with multi-omics assessments. It involves a multidisciplinary team of researchers from six Canadian universities.
Dr. Pausova’s research group partners with research groups from the USA and Europe through international consortia, such as CHARGE, BRIDGET and ENIGMA.
Dr. Pausova lab’s main findings suggest that (i) excess body fat (and visceral fat in particular) associates adversely with cardio-metabolic health, brain structure and cognition already during adolescence; (ii) early life modifiers of the brain-reward system relate to both obesogenic eating and illicit drug use; and (iii) early (pre-natal and post-natal) and late (adolescent) environments shape the brain to influence brain ‘biological reserve’ in adulthood.
Education and experience
- 1980–1986: Medical School, Purkyne (Masaryk) University, Brno, Czech Republic
- 1986–1990: Resident, Internal Medicine, Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Prague, Czech Republic
- 1990–1995: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
- 1996–1998: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Montreal, Montreal, Canada
- 1998–2004: Assistant Professor, Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal, Montreal, Canada
- 2003–Present: Co-director of the Saguenay Youth Study
- 2005–2009: Principal Research Fellow, School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom
- 2010–2013: Scientist, SickKids Research Institute, Toronto, Canada
- 2010–2015: Associate Professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
- 2013–Present: Senior Scientist, SickKids Research Institute, Toronto, Canada
- 2015–Present: Professor, Department of Physiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
- 2015–Present: Professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
- 2020–Present: Professor, Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
- 2005: Award for Excellence in Research, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
- 2012–Present: Fellow of the American Heart Association
- Sliz E, Shin J, Syme C, Patel Y, Parker N, Richer L, Gaudet D, Bennett S, Paus T, and Pausova Z. A variant near DHCR24 associates with microstructural properties of white matter and peripheral lipid metabolism in adolescents. Mol Psychiatry. 2020 Jan 3. doi: 10.1038/s41380-019-0640-9.
- Shin J, Syme C, Wang D, Richer L, Pike GB, Gaudet D, Paus T and Pausova Z. Novel genetic locus of visceral fat and systemic inflammation. J Clin Endocrinol Metab,104: 3735-3742, 2019
- Syme C, Pelletier S, Shin J, Abrahamowicz M, Leonard G, Perron M, Richer L, Veillette S, Gaudet D, Pike B, Strug L, Wang Y, Xu H, Taylor G, Bennett S, Paus T, and Pausova Z. Visceral fat-related systemic inflammation and the adolescent brain: a mediating role of circulating glycerophosphocholines. Int J Obes, 43: 1223-1230, 2019
- Pausova Z, Paus T, Abrahamowicz M, Bernard M, Gaudet D, Leonard G, Peron M, Pike GB, Richer L, Séguin JR, Veillette S. Cohort profile: The Saguenay Youth Study (SYS). Int J Epidemiol, 46: e19, 2017
- Syme C, Czajkowski S, Shin J, Abrahamowicz M, Leonard G, Perron M, Richer L, Veillette S, Gaudet D, Strug L, Wang Y, Xu H, Taylor G, Paus T, Bennett S, and Pausova Z. Glycerophosphocholine metabolites and cardiovascular disease-risk factors in adolescents: a cohort study. Circulation, 134: 1629-1636, 2016