Zdenka Pausova, M.D.
FAHA, Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Canada
Zdenka PAUSOVA, M.D., FAHA, is a Senior Scientist in the Hospital for Sick Children and Professor in the Departments of Physiology and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto, Canada. Her research focuses on investigating the relationships between body and brain health. In this research, clinical studies are integrated with preclinical studies, and in both, detailed phenotyping at molecular, cellular and systemic levels is combined with genome-wide genetic and epigenetic approaches.
Dr. Pausova co-leads the Saguenay Youth Study, which is a population-based study of 1,028 adolescents (12-18 years) and 962 middle-aged parents (36-65 years, aimed at investigating the etiology, early stages and trans-generational trajectories of common cardio-metabolic and brain diseases. The cohort is recruited from the genetic founder population of the Saguenay Lac St. Jean region of Quebec, Canada. The participants have been extensively (15-hour) phenotyped, including an hour-long recording of beat-by-beat blood pressure, MRI of the brain and abdomen, and serum metabolomic profiling. All participants have been genome-wide genotyped and a subset of them has been genome-wide epityped. These assessments are complemented by a detailed evaluation of each participant in a number of domains, including cognition, mental health and substance use, diet, physical activity and sleep, and family environment.
Dr. Pausova’s research is guided by the following biomedical considerations: many common cardio-metabolic and brain disease (1) originate in utero; (2) involve interactions between adverse environments and vulnerability genes; (3) emerge during adolescence and become established during middle-aged adulthood; and (4) are multi-systemic, affecting both the brain and body. The ultimate goal of this research is to identify effective means for increasing healthy life expectancy.