Department: Pathobiology and Population Sciences

Campus: Hawkshead

Research Groups: Safe and Sustainable Food

Research Centres: Veterinary Epidemiology, Economics and Public Health

Paula is a Postdoctoral researcher in Nutrition at the Veterinary Epidemiology, Economics and Public Health Group.She works as a joint position between RVC and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Nairobi, as nutrition adviser in nutrition-sensitive livestock research. Her research focuses on the links between livestock food value chains, maternal and child nutrition, and gender in low-income settings of East Africa. She is in charge of ILRI's nutrition strategy in animal-source foods and nutrition. I also collaborate with the FAO Division in Nutrition. I am also a core member of the Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research in Agriculture and Health (LCIRAH).

I started at RVC in September 2013 as post-doctoral researcher. I graduated in veterinary sciences (animal production specialty) in 1998 by the University of Veterinary of Zaragoza, Spain, where I also graduated in Food Sciences and Technology, and took a postgraduate degree in agricultural economics. During these studies, I spent time in Gent and Liege universities (Belgium) as Erasmus fellow. Then I obtained a MSc and a PhD in International Public Health Nutrition at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), where I worked for 5 years as research fellow. My doctoral thesis was on seasonality effect on food and methyl-donors availability in maternal diets, and its role in fetal programming in the offspring, via DNA methylation in rural Gambia. 

I have focused in humanitarian development, and my experienceis mostly in Africa, including the Saharawi Refugee camps in Algeria, The Gambia, Kenya Tanzania, Mauritania, Senegal or Uganda, and in South America (particularly in Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Peru).

Before moving to nutrition, I worked for European institutions (i.e European Commission, Federation of Veterinarians of Europe and European Federation of Animal Health), for the Spanish Agency for International Development, in food inspection in British food premises and NGOs such as 'Medecins du Monde'.

My main focus is maternal and child nutrition, particularly micronutrient deficiencies, in developing countries. My initial research was on the mechanisms for fetal programming and how the maternal nutrition status during pregnancy can affect their offspring outcomes, in West Africa. Now I am working in an interdisciplinary projects in East Africa, to obtain evidence on impact of agriculture and livestock production activity in maternal and child nutrition, and understand how the nutrition gaps can be addressed via animal food sources. 

  • Picchioni F, Dominguez-Salas P et al. Agri-health research: what have we learned and where to next? Food Sec (in press).
  • Silver MJ, Kessler NH, Hennig BJ, Dominguez-Salas P et al. Independent genomewide screens identify the tumor suppressor VTRNA2-1 as a human epiallele responsive to periconceptional environment. Gen Bio 2015 Jun 11.
  • Silver MJ, Corbin KD, Hellenthal G, da Costa KA, Dominguez-Salas P et al. Evidence for Negative Selection at SNPs Increasing Dietary Choline Requirement in a Gambian Cohort. FASEB 2015 Apr 28.
  • Hernandez-Vargas H, Castelino J, Silver MJ, Dominguez-Salas P et al. Exposure to aflatoxin B1 in utero is associated with DNA methylation in white blood cells of infants in The Gambia. Int J Epi 2015 Apr 7.
  • Dominguez-Salas P et al. Maternal Nutrition at Conception Modulates DNA Methylation of Human Metastable Epialleles. Nat Comms. 2014, 29;5:3746.
  • Castelino JM, Dominguez-Salas P et al. Seasonal and gestation-stage associated differences in dietary aflatoxin exposure in pregnant Gambian women. Trop Med Int Health. 2014, 19(3):348-54.
  • Cox SE, Makani J, Soka D, Kija E, Dominguez-Salas P et al. Haptoglobin, alpha-thalassaemia and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase polymorphisms and risk of abnormal transcranial Doppler among patients with sickle cell anaemia in Tanzania. Br J Haem. 2014, 165(5):699-706.
  • Dominguez-Salas P et al. DNA methylation potential: dietary intake and blood concentrations of one-carbon metabolites and cofactors in rural African women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013; 97:1217-1227.
  • Dominguez-Salas P et al. Maternal nutritional status, one-carbon metabolism and offspring DNA methylation: A review of current evidence in humans. Proc Nutr Soc. 2012 Feb;71(1):154-65.

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