Prof Dr V.B. Schrauwen - Hinderling
Vera Schrauwen is associate professor at Maastricht University, Department of Nutrition and Movement Sciences and at the Maastricht University Medical Center, Department of Diagnostic Imaging. Her research focuses on metabolic imaging, more specifically the use of non-invasive magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to investigate the etiology of insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes. She studies the causes and consequences of fat storage in heart, liver and muscle, with a particular focus on the balance between oxidation and storage. To this end, she and her team have set up cardiac and hepatic 1H-MRS in Maastricht to study ectopic fat storage in these tissues. To address oxidative capacity, she set up 31P-MRS protocols to investigate energy metabolism in vivo. Using these tools, her she reported reduced in vivo mitochondrial function in T2DM patients and showed that lipid content and oxidative capacity in the heart and skeletal muscle are modulated by endurance training and acute exercise and furthermore, that high concentrations of FFA- as seen in diabetes - lead to increased fat storage in skeletal muscle, heart and liver.
In 2010, she received an NWO-VENI award to investigate the role of hepatic mitochondrial energy and lipid metabolism in type 2 diabetes. Based on pilot work generated in her team, she received in 2012 an EFSD research grant to investigate the muscle metabolite acetylcarnitine using non-invasive MRS. In 2017, she was awarded an ERC starting grant and an NWO -VIDI grant which focus on the non-invasive quantification of NAD+.