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Dr Anastasia Kalea
233
Rockefeller Building
Institute of Liver and Digestive Health (Bloomsbury), UCL Division of Medicine
London
Appointment
  • Senior Teaching Fellow
  • Div of Medicine
  • Faculty of Medical Sciences
  • Institute of Cardiovascular Science
  • Faculty of Pop Health Sciences
Biography

Anastasia graduated with a BSc in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from Harokopio University, Greece. She worked as a dietitian and then followed her interest in biomedical research in the USA, where she completed her doctorate studies on the effect of nutrients on vascular structure (extracellular matrix) and function (vasomotor tone) at the University of Maine.


She continued her training as a Postdoctoral fellow studying the effect of bioactive compounds from functional foods on vasomotor tone and in the prevention of genetic hypertension (SHR model). She was also involved in projects on the dietary patterns of overweight and obese Mediterranean adolescents. 


She later joined the Dept. of Surgery at Columbia University in New York, working on the role of the receptor of advanced glycation end-products (RAGE) on vascular inflammation, diabetes and tumorigenesis and on the genetics of type 1 diabetes (T1D). Dr Kalea was awarded a Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Fellowship to study diabetes complications in the vasculature and on how adipokines (apelin/APJ) may affect the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) in the diabetic kidney (Dept. of Nephrology/ Hypertension, Northwestern University, Chicago). 


In 2011 Dr Kalea joined UCL as a BHF Chair Scholar (Prof Humphries) to explore the genetic (telomeres) and epigenetic (miRNAs) mechanisms linked to cardiovascular diseases. She has been collaborating with the Hatter Cardiovascular Institute on the role of miRNAs in exosomes and with the UCL Gene Ontology (GO) team for the creation of curation guidelines for consistent functional annotation of miRNAs (available on “GO Consortium wiki”).


Dr Kalea is a member of the UCL Nutrition team, leading modules on Disease-related Malnutrition and on Nutrition and Public health and lecturing for the MSc in Clinical and Public Health Nutrition / MSc Eating Disorders and Clinical Nutrition and the BSc in Nutrition and Applied Medical Sciences. She has received Global Engagement Funding from UCL for a collaborative MSc teaching programme in Nutrition and Public health with United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) starting in 2019. 


Dr Kalea is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, is registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a Dietitian (#DT28154), and is a member of the British Dietetic Association.


Research Summary

Dr Kalea's research interests rely on experimental medicine, cross-thematic, inter-disciplinary and collaborative research, with a potential to evolve towards diagnostic, as well as therapeutic tools. 


Having a strong background in the crossroads of clinical, applied and basic science, she has been focused on understanding the regulatory role of molecules in pathologic processes in disease and on the discovery of novel nutritional biomarkers. Her main interest relies on improving personalised nutrition therapy


Her research projects have focused on obesity, diabetes and its complications, vascular cell biology, and cardiovascular disease, on trace elements bioavailability and on nutrigenetics. She has recently used liquid or tissue biopsies to propose novel therapeutic targets for periodontal regeneration in obesity and to define, in a first-in-man series of studies the cardioprotective effect of circulating microRNAs in lipid-rich microvesicles. 


Dr Kalea serves as a reviewer for several peer-reviewed scientific journals and has been invited to contribute as a scientific committee member, fund-raising committee member or abstract reviewer in national and international scientific conferences. She is a member of the Royal Society of Medicine, the Nutrition Society and the British Dietetics Association and an Associate member of the Faculty of Public Health.


She has attended the EUREKA@UCL program for early career translational researchers, the Leadership in Action Program organised by UCL, is a member of the Early Career Network of Population Health Sciences, of the Athena Swan self-assessment team at the Institute of Cardiovascular Science. 





Teaching Summary

Dr Kalea is Senior Teaching Fellow with the UCL Division of Medicine and a module lead for the MSc in Clinical and Public Health Nutrition / MSc Eating Disorders and Clinical Nutrition and the BSc in Nutrition and Applied Medical Sciences. 


Her teaching interests rely on the areas of malnutrition (obesity and undernutrition), diabetes, inflammation, cardiovascular disease and her focus is on molecular nutrition pathways and public health strategies in the above areas.


She has been a lecturer in academic institutions in the US and the UK for the last 12 years. Dr Kalea has been an external reviewer for validation of undergraduate Dietetics Degree programmes in the UK and in Greece.


Academic Background
2011 POSTDOC Post Doctoral Qualification – Genetics and Molecular Biology University College London
2010 POSTDOC Post Doctoral Qualification – Medicine/Nephrology/Molecular Biology Northwestern University
2008 POSTDOC Post Doctoral Qualification – Molecular and Cellular Biology Columbia University
2005 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Nutrition University of Maine, Orono, ME USA
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