Institute of Neuroscience

Staff Profile

Dr Antoneta Granic

Interdisciplinary AGE Research Fellow

Background

Introduction

I joined the Newcastle University as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate in October 2012. With the funding from the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), I am investigating the role of blood-based biomarkers, diet (dietary patterns), and dietary interventions (whole or functional foods) in physical and cognitive decline (sarcopenia and dementia) in older adults.

Areas of expertise

  • Epidemiology of ageing
  • Diet in very old adults
  • The role of diet (dietary patterns) in physical (sarcopenia) and 
  • Cognitive decline (dementia) in older adults

Qualifications

  • PhD (Aging Studies/Gerontology), University of South Florida, Tampa, USA; December 2011
  • MA (Gerontology), University of South Florida, Tampa, USA; August 2008

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Research fellow for the Ageing, Geriatrics & Epidemiology (AGE) Research Group (PI: Professor Avan A Sayer) 
  • PI, MIlk Intervetion Muscle AgeiNg (MIlkMAN): pilot study (Founder: NIHR Newcastle BRC).
  • Co-Investigator, A cohort study of sarcopenia in the chronic lung infection syndrome bronchiectasis: Sarco-Bronch (PI: Dr. Anthony De Soyza; Founder: NIHR Newcastle BRC).
  • Researcher, Prevention Of  Malnutrition In Senior Subjects (PROMISS) in the EU (Horizon 2020, Project Leader: Professor Marjolein Visser, VA University Amsterdam); WP1: 'Dietary characteristics, daily food intake patterns and clinical outcomes' (WP1 lead: Professor Carol Jagger).  

Honours and Awards 

  • University of South Florida H. Edward and Mildred E. Greely Endowed Fellowship in Aging Studies; 2010 and 2011
  • USF Health Postdoctoral Research Day best poster award; 2012
  • Croatian Congress of Neuroscience best poster award; 2013  
  • United Kingdom Molecular Epidemiology Group travel award; 2013 
  • IHS Applied Epidemiology Research Day best poster award; 2015
  • Norman Exton-Smith Prize for best scientific poster presentation, British Geriatric Society Autumn Meeting, 2016

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Research

My research interest is in the field of physical and cognitive ageing approached from an interdisciplinary perspective, and includes the development of a broad understanding of bio-modulators and risk factors of physical and cognitive impairment (sarcopenia and dementia), and the key biological pathways that lead to decline in muscle function and neurodegeneration. Utilising data from the cross-sectional and prospective (cohort) studies, I am investigating the role of blood-based biomarkers, diet (dietary patterns), and malnutrition in physical and cognitive decline and survival in very old adults (aged 85 and over). Of special interest are dietary interventions with whole or functional foods ('myoprotective foods') in combination with exercise for amelioration of muscle strength/function decline in older adults at risk of sarcopenia. 

Research interests

  • Determinants of muscle strength and physical performance decline and sarcopenia in very old adults
  • The role of diet, dietary patterns and malnutrition in physical and cognitive functioning and decline in older adults
  • Dietary interventions for sarcopenia ('myoprotective foods' for muscle health and function)  
  • Blood-based biomarkers and the risk of physical and cognitive decline in older adults
  • Novel biomarkers of sarcopenia
  • Genomic instability and chromosome mis-segregation in neurodegenerative and age-related diseases

Projects

  • MIlk Intervention Muscle AgeiNg (MIlkMAN): pilot study (May 2018-September 2019). CI: Terry Aspray; PI: Antoneta Granic; Co-Investigators: Karen Davies, Emma Stevenson; Academic lead: Avan A Sayer. Founder: NIHR Newcastle BRC.  
  • AGE Research Group (PI: Professor Avan A Sayer): Predictors of muscle strength and physical performance decline in older adults: The role of diet, malnutrition and blood-based biomarkers (April 2015-Present).
  • A cohort study of sarcopenia in chronic lung infection syndrome bronchiectasis: Sarco-Bronch (January 2018-December 2021). PI: Dr. Anthony De Soyza; Co-Investigators: Alison Yarnall and Antoneta Granic. Founder: NIHR Newcastle BRC.
  • Horizon 2020: Prevention Of Malnutrition In Senior Subjects (PROMISS) in the EU. Project Leader(s): Principal: Professor Marjolein Visser, Collaborator (Epidemiology Team): Professor Carol Jagger (April 2016-Present).
  • Confidence in Concept Project (MRC CiC): Muscle and Ageing Science Study (MASS), Evaluation of novel biomarkers of mitochondrial function and dystrophin expression in sarcopenia through integration of expertise in muscle disease, imaging and population-based studies of the very old. Project Leader(s): CI: Professor Avan A Sayer, PI: Dr Karen Davies; Co-Investigators: Antoneta Granic, Grainne Gorman, Kieran Hollingsworth, Volker Straub, Kate Bushby, Rita Barresi, and Doug Turnbull (January 2016-July 2016).
  • Diet as a Driver of Longevity and Healthy Cognitive Ageing: Lessons from the Newcastle 85 Study.
    Project Leader(s): Principal: Professor C Jagger, Collaborator: Professor JC Mathers (October 2012-March 2015).

Teaching

Undergraduate

  • Sociocultural Aspects of Aging (GEY 3625), University of South Florida; 2010
  • Biology of Ageing 2014 (BMS2014): Epidemiology of Ageing & Healthy Ageing, School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Newcastle University; Biomedical Sciences BSc; 2015; 2017; 2018.
  • MBBS Life Cycle 3 (PDS4.7): Epidemiology of Ageing, School of Medical Education, Newcastle University; 2017; 2018.
  • NUT3006, School of Biomedical Sciences, Food and Human Nutrition BSc, Newcastle University; Co-supervising students’ research projects: Association between the Mediterranean dietary pattern, diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular health in the very old: the Newcastle 85 Study; Lead: Tom R. Hill; October 2017-May 2018.  

Graduate

  • Instructing molecular and cell biology techniques in the Alzheimer's disease research laboratory, University of South Florida; 2006-2012 
  • NIHR/ESRC Doctoral Training Programme: Analysis of Large Datasets and Advanced Statistics in Health Research, Institute of Health and Society, Newcastle University; Lead: Dr. Blossom Stephan; 2015.
  • Introduction to quantitative research methods (HSC8053): Cohort studies in epidemiology. Graduate course. Faculty of Medical Sciences, FMS Graduate School, Newcastle University; Lead: Dr. Blossom Stephan;2016.
  • MSc in Health Policy Programme (Module 3): Ageing and Health, Imperial College, London. Masters in Science. Guest speaker; 2015.
  • Newcastle BRC PhD studentship (2017-2020). Co-supervisor; PhD thesis: ‘Cellular senescence in muscle ageing’; Ageing Biology Centre (Lead: Dr. Joao Passos).
  • CIMA PhD studentship; The MRC – Arthritis Research UK Centre for Integrated Research into Musculoskeletal Ageing (2018-2021): Co-supervisor; PhD thesis: ‘Whole food approaches to enhance exercise recovery, muscle strength and functional performance in older adults’; Institute for Cellular Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Newcastle University (Lead: Prof Emma Stevenson).
  • NIHR Newcastle BRC training network; Supporting role for BRC PhD students (2017-2020): training opportunities and development within the Newcastle BRC.


 



  


Publications