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    Dr Eleanor Raffan BVM&S PhD DipECVIM-CA MRCVS

    University Position
    Assistant Professor
    Dr Eleanor Raffan is pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD students.


    I am interested in the neural control of energy homeostasis in the body. We study veterinary models of obesity to discover new genes linked to obesity and interrogate the mechanisms in which genetic variation can influence neural control of metabolism. Dogs are a good model organism for these studies because selective breeding has resulted an unusual genetic architecture which makes mapping disease associated loci remarkably tractable compared to in human populations. We study pet dogs and use comparative genomics to identify obesity genes. The mechanism of action and physiological consequences of variants of interest are tested in the lab in cellular models, and at a whole-dog level by examining their effect on eating behaviour and physiology. Our recent work extends into production animal models of obesity too. In a parallel stream of work, I collaborate with Dr Valdas Noreika from QMU to invesgitate the neural basis of interspecies communication using EEG in dogs and humans. I am a veterinary surgeon with specialist clinical qualifications in small animal medicine. I am based at PDN but have strong links with the Institute of Metabolic Science.

    Key Publications