Edinburgh Research Explorer

Pauline Jamieson

(Former employee or visitor)

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Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Edinburgh
Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine & Surgery, University of Edinburgh

Current Research Interests

Endocrinology, and in particular cortisol physiology and diabetes.

Energy metabolism and body weight regulation.

Liver physiology and bile acid metabolism.

Research Interests

My clinical research interest is in endocrinology in dogs and cats, and in particular cortisol metabolism. Cortisol metabolism is disordered in a number of clinical conditions including cardiac and renal disease, obesity, diabetes mellitus and hyperadrenocorticism. In all these cases, the abnormalities in cortisol production and metabolism are thought to contribute to the disease process, and manipulating cortisol for therapeutic benefit has been a target in human medicine for some time. I am investigating whether similar abnormalities are seen in dogs and cats with these conditions, with the aim of clarifying whether they may benefit from these treatments in the future. Together with other clinicians at the R(D)SVS, I am also investigating whether cortisol metabolism is abnormal in critically ill animals, as it is in humans where it is termed Corticosteroid Insufficiency of Critical Illness, again with the aim of identifying dogs which might benefit from glucocorticoid supplementation to correct this.

I also have an interest in liver physiology, and in particular in bile acid synthesis and how this can impact on liver function in health and disease. Cats have a particular predisposition to inflammatory liver disease, and we recently observed that they may have deficient function in 5ß-reductase, a key enzyme for synthesising bile acids. In humans, genetic deficiency of this enzyme results in alternative synthesis of acidic bile acids, which are toxic to the liver and causes inflammation and potentially liver failure if not treated. I am investigating whether a similar mechanism contributes to liver disease in cats, and ultimately whether treatments used in humans may be beneficial for them. Similarly, we see a condition known as biliary mucocele in dogs which results from abnormal secretion of bile acids. This is a surgical condition that requires removal of the gall bladder, and I am interested to investigate whether this can be prevented or treated with medications that alter bile acids in humans where they are used for treating gall stones.

Finally, metabolism and body weight regulation has been a long-standing interest of mine, and I am also working together with colleagues at The Roslin Institute on the genetic analysis of complex metabolic traits such as feed efficiency and body stature in pigs.

Teaching

Course organiser & lecturer: Genetics and Environmental Influences on Behaviour and Mental Health Elective, BSc Biomedical Sciences Honours Degree Programme, 2014 onward.
 
Module organiser & lecturer: Endocrinology, Integrated Clinical Dog & Cat course, BVM&S Year 3.
 
Clinical teaching: Final Year BVM&S, Small Animal Internal Medicine clinical rotation.
 
Veterinary Medicine Student Selected Component 2 (SSC2) supervisor.
 
Personal Tutor BVM&S students.
 

Biography

Pauline Jamieson graduated from the R(D)SVS, University of Edinburgh, in 1993. She then went on to complete a PhD in the field of Steroid Metabolism in the Endocrinology Unit of Edinburgh University’s Medical School as a Wellcome Trust Veterinary Clinical Fellow, before returning to the R(D)SVS as a Senior Clinical Scholar in Small Animal Internal Medicine. On completion of her clinical training, she obtained the Diploma of the European College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in 2001 before undertaking a Postdoctoral Fellowship funded by the Adler Foundation at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, California. There, her research concentrated in areas of the neuroendocrinology of stress, glucose and insulin regulation and cardiovascular biology.

Pauline returned to Edinburgh in 2005, firstly as a Research Fellow and later as a Senior Lecturer in Cardiovascular Science and Small Animal Medicine. She is a practicing clinican in the R(D)SVS’s Internal Medicine Clinic and a veterinary clinical researcher. Her areas of interest include endocrinology and hepatology and she is a European and RCVS Specialist in Veterinary Internal Medicine.

My research in a nutshell

My clinical research interest is in endocrinology in dogs and cats, and in particular cortisol metabolism. Cortisol metabolism is disordered in a number of clinical conditions including obesity, diabetes mellitus and hyperadrenocorticism. In all these cases, the abnormalities in cortisol production and metabolism are thought to contribute to the disease process, and manipulating cortisol for therapeutic benefit has been a target in human medicine for some time. I am investigating whether similar abnormalities are seen in dogs and cats with these conditions, with the aim of clarifying whether they may benefit from these treatments in the future. Together with other clinicians at the R(D)SVS, I am also investigating whether cortisol metabolism is abnormal in critically ill animals, as it is in humans where it is termed Corticosteroid Insufficiency of Critical Illness, again with the aim of identifying dogs which might benefit from glucocorticoid supplementation to correct this.

I also have an interest in liver physiology, and in particular in bile acid synthesis and how this can impact on liver function in health and disease. Cats have a particular predisposition to inflammatory liver disease, and we recently observed that they may have deficient function in 5ß-reductase, a key enzyme for synthesising bile acids. In humans, genetic deficiency of this enzyme results in alternative synthesis of acidic bile acids, which are toxic to the liver and causes inflammation and potentially liver failure if not treated. I am investigating whether a similar mechanism contributes to liver disease in cats, and ultimately whether treatments used in humans may be beneficial for them. Similarly, we see a condition known as biliary mucocele in dogs which results from abnormal secretion of bile acids. This is a surgical condition that requires removal of the gall bladder, and I am interested to investigate whether this can be prevented or treated with medications that alter bile acids in humans where they are used for treating gall stones.

Finally, metabolism and body weight regulation has been a long-standing interest of mine, and I am also working together with colleagues at The Roslin Institute on the genetic analysis of complex metabolic traits such as feed efficiency and body stature in pigs.

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