Integrated Metabolic Research Group (IMRG)

Group leader: 

Dr Theo Nell

Research Focus:

The “Human as Unit” is the focus.  We focus on diseases of lifestyle mainly in which metabolism plays the central role but integrated with other physiological systems and also interdisciplinary systems. 

Physiological associations are investigated in an epidemiological as well as molecular/cellular approach.  The research group has a very high socio-health impact with a pragmatic focus.  The research blends well in the social impact vision and mission of the University of Stellenbosch, and Faculty of Science.

Past projects:

  • Menopause and bone health in farm working women.
  • Body shape and lifestyle associated cancer risk.
  • Red blood cell fatty acid composition in a metabolic syndrome population.
  • Adipocytokine profile in a metabolic syndrome cross sectional study.
  • Lipocalin and galectin in a diabetic prone population.
  • Annexin A1 profiles in the context of different classes of obesity.

Current projects:

  • Parkinsons disease
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Machine learning

Scientific Skills development:

  • Post graduate students are trained in Good Clinical Practice before commencing their projects on human volunteers.  Additionally, anthropometric training is done for projects in which body dimensions are used to describe risk of certain lifestyle related diseases.
  • Ultrasound bone densitometry training is done for bone health projects.
  • All blood sample analyses are done by post the graduate students in the laboratory (ELISA’s). 
  • Scanning electron microscopy and confocal microscopy techniques are acquired for some projects.