Congratulations Jess on a Successful MSc. Defense!

On April 5th, Jess successfully defended her MSc. thesis titled, “The Nutrigenomic Effects of Dietary Choline and L-Carnitine on the Muscle and Liver of Lean and Obese Cats When Fed for Weight Maintenance.

Read on for more information about Jess and her thesis!

Can you provide a summary of your thesis?

This thesis investigated the nutrigenomic effects of dietary choline and L-carnitine in the muscle and liver of lean and obese cats when fed for weight maintenance. RNA seq results from liver samples indicate that supplementation of choline downregulated gene expression related to lipogenesis in obese cats and increased lipolytic expression in lean cats. Genes related to ghrelin mediated energy homeostasis were also downregulated by L-carnitine in both conditions and choline in the obese condition. Both treatments incited modulation of circadian-related fat metabolism in lean cats. In muscle tissue, choline was associated with muscle hypertrophy in obese cats due to amino acid transport expression. Obese cats experienced an up and downregulation of T cell activation related genes due to L-carnitine and choline respectively. These findings highlight the nutrigenomic potential choline and L-carnitine have to facilitate fat metabolism, enhance muscle hypertrophy and modulate immune response in both lean and obese cats.

What’s next for you?

I’m planning on moving into the petfood industry with the goal of becoming a formulator! But before I start my career, I’m satisfying my travel bug and heading to the Netherlands for some rest and relaxation!

Most Memorable Research Moment?

Presenting my research at the American Society of Animal Science in Albuquerque New Mexico. It was great to hear feedback from prominent members within the industry and getting to make valuable connections at the same time. To make things even better I won first place for the ASAS/CSAS Oral presentation competition! It was amazing to have people interested in what is happening at the OVC and be recognized for my hard work as well.

Future goals in pet nutrition?

To revolutionize pet health from the inside out. My research taught me that what you eat has a huge effect, even down to your DNA and I want to translate that knowledge into leveraging nutrition to prolong and improve the lives of our pets.

Funding Statement: Jess received an OVC Scholarship to support her stipend. This research was supported by Balchem Corp, Elmira Pet Products, and NSERC. We thank you for your contributions.

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