Christopher L. Pankey, Ph.D.
Christopher L Pankey, Ph.D.
Department of Biomedical Sciences
Phone: (304) 793-6576
United States Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Research Service – Grand Forks Human Nutrition Center
Grand Forks, ND
Field: Exercise Science
Doctor of Philosophy
University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY
Field: Obesity, Reproductive Biology
Bachelor of Science
University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY
Field: Physiology with a minor in Neuroscience
As a graduate research assistant at the Center for the Study of Fetal Programming, I investigated how obesity and associated comorbidities affect the individual and their future offspring. My previous research findings show that diet induced obesity and the associated indications of metabolic syndrome are passed through multiple generations, even with future offspring eating only to requirements. Specifically, I found that markers of metabolic syndrome can be observed through three generations in an ovine model. Simply put, if a pregnant mother is obese, adverse metabolic phenotypes are observable in her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Moving forward I plan to determine the epigenetic mechanisms at play in similar animal models, which may be targeted in future studies in an attempt to rescue these adverse phenotypes.
In addition to obesity and fetal programming, I also have a strong interest in exercise science. During my post-doctoral research position at the USDA I designed a clinical study to help understand the molecular mechanisms involved in facilitating the favorable health outcomes associated with exercise. Preliminary data suggests that skeletal muscle may be playing an endocrine role in response to exercise, and these signals may be combating the chronic-low grade inflammation that is observed in obesity. With this concept in mind, I am implementing an “exercise is medicine” approach focused on determining the roles of signaling molecules from both adipose tissue and skeletal muscle during exercise. In the long term I hope these findings can be incorporated into a fetal programming model in an attempt to rescue the adverse phenotypes observed in future generations from obese lineages.
- CL Pankey, MW Walton, JF Odhiambo, AM Smith, PW Nathanielsz, SP Ford. 2016. Intergenerational Impact of Maternal Overnutrition and Obesity throughout Pregnancy in Sheep on Metabolic Syndrome in Grandsons and Granddaughters. Domestic Animal Endocrinology. 60:67-74.
- AM Smith, CL Pankey, JF Odhiambo, AB Ghnenis, PW Nathanielsz, SP Ford. Reduced maternal nutrition during early- to mid-gestation elevates newborn lamb plasma cortisol concentrations and eliminates the neonatal leptin surge. Journal of Animal Science. June 2018.
- CL Pankey, K Flack, K Ufholz, L Johnson, JN. Roemmich. Reconsidering the Energy Homeostasis Hypothesis. The Proposed Role of Fat-Free Mass (FFM) and Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) Driving Increased Energy Intake After Weight Loss. Oral presentation at American Society for Nutrition annual meeting. Baltimore, MD. June 2019.
- CL Pankey, MM Considine, PW Nathanielsz, SP Ford. Maternal Obesity in Sheep Increases Aortic Fibrosis leading to Hypertension. Poster presentation at the Society for the Study of Reproduction annual meeting. New Orleans, LA. July 2018.
- CL Pankey, C Edwards, Q Wang, JF Odhiambo, AB Ghnenis, PW Nathanielsz, SP Ford. Maternal Obesity Results in Altered Cardiovascular Function in Young and Aged Offspring (F1). Poster presentation at Society for Reproductive Investigation annual meeting. San Diego, CA. March 2018.
- CL Pankey, C Edwards, Q Wang, JF Odhiambo, AB Ghnenis, PW Nathanielsz, SP Ford. Maternal Obesity in Sheep Programs Metabolic Syndrome (MS) across Multiple Generations. Poster presentation at Society for Reproductive Investigation annual meeting. San Diego, CA. March 2018.
- CL Pankey, AM Smith, JF Odhiambo, PW Nathanielsz, SP Ford. Placental Role in Maternal Obesity Induced Fetal Hypercortisolemia During Gestation in Sheep. Poster presented at the Society for the Study of Reproduction annual meeting. Washington, DC. July 2017.
- CL Pankey, JF Odhiambo, AM Smith, AB Ghnenis, PW Nathanielsz, SP Ford. Multigenerational Impact of Maternal Overnutrition/Obesity Throughout Pregnancy in Sheep on Metabolic Syndrome in Granddaughters. Poster presented at the Society for the Study of Reproduction annual meeting. San Diego, CA. July, 2016.