I received my first Degree in Food and Human Nutrition from the University of Newcastle in 1999 and a PhD in Molecular Biology in 2002. I believe the combination of these two disciplines represents a powerful approach through which to increase understanding of the relationship between diet and health. I have research interests in nutrient gene interactions with a particular focus on the micronutrient, zinc; the function and distribution of zinc transporters in the intestine and placenta and the role of zinc nutrition in pregnancy.
PhD, BSc, Registered Nutritionist (R.Nutr), Postgraduate Certificate: Academic and Professional Learning,
Lecturer: Molecular Biology. Northumbria University, Division of Biological and Food Science, School of Applied Sciences.
Post Doctoral Research Associate. University of Newcastle. The molecular basis of differential intestinal and placental responses to zinc nutrition.
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
The Nutrition Society
The European Nutrigenomics Organisation (NuGO)
2002: First prize awarded for abstract submitted to International Society for Trace Element Research in Humans (ISTERH) VI International Conference ‘Trace element research for a new century’. Quebec city, Canada.
2001: Young Physiologist Symposium Prize awarded for oral communication at the Young Physiologist’s Symposium ‘Membrane and Epithelial Function in Health and Disease’. The Physiological Society
Cellular and Molecular Nutrition.
Zinc is an essential component of the diet and plays a role if a vast array of functions in cells and tissues. There is evidence that sub-clinical zinc deficiency may be important with respect to aging, immune function and neonatal health. Zinc can also be toxic if over accumulated.
We are currently investigating the intracellular trafficking of splice variants of the zinc transporter SLC30A5 in response to zinc. Achieving the project aims will contribute to a detailed understanding of the role of the splice variants of the zinc transporter SLC30A5 in cellular zinc homeostasis in terms of zinc induced sub-cellular localization, and will identify motifs involved in trafficking and mechanisms through which intracellular SLC30A5 trafficking is controlled by zinc availability.
It has recently emerged that epigenetic alterations may be crucial in regulating genes governing cell proliferation in atherogenesis. Foetal zinc supply is important for the health of the neonate and may influence susceptibility to a range of non-communicable diseases, such as cardiovascular disease (CVD).Our studies will investigate the hypothesis that inadequate foetal zinc status alters global DNA methylation, along with site-specific methylation of genes that are candidates for the development of cardiovascular disease. Achieving the project aims will contribute to a detailed understanding of the response of genes involved in CVD progression to changes in foetal zinc nutriture.
I am an assessor for the UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists. In this role I assess portfolios of evidence on behalf of and make recommendations to the Registration Committee about admission to the UK Register of Nutritionists.
Role of Zinc transporters in dental pulp tissue.
Effect of extracellular zinc on alternative splicing of proteins implicated in aetiology of Alzheimer’s Disease (MRC funded)
Invited to speak at a Rank Mini Symposium on the Transport of Micronutrients in Animals and Plants, held in October 2008
RA Valentine, D Ford, M Walker, S Campbell. Heterologous expression of ZnT8 allelic variants associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes in an insulin-secreting beta cell line model. £12, 658. Diabetes UK March 2009-August 2009.
RA Valentine. Intracellular trafficking of splice variants of the zinc transporter SLC30A5 in response to zinc. £330 215. BBSRC 2006-2009
RA Valentine. The effect of heteromeric protein complexes of hZTL1 and ZnT5 on zinc transport. £1130. Nuffield Foundation Undergraduate Research Bursary. July 2006
RA Valentine. Development of a non radioactive technique of measuring zinc transport in human cell lines.£25 000. HEFCE Promising Research Fellowship Scheme. September 2005-August 2006
S.Kury et al. Molecular investigation of the pathogenesis of Acrodermatitis Enteropathica. (RA Valentine Co investigator). 8000 Euros. Groupment d’Interet Scientifique (GIS). October 2003 – September 2005
My major block of teaching is in the first year of BDS, where I am course leader on the Physiology course and teach the Gastrointestinal Tract element of this course. I am also involved in BMS final year project.
I organise and run the 'Partners' Assessed Summer School.