Karvonen-Gutierrez receives NIH K01 Mentored Research Scientist Development Award

Carrie Karvonen-GutierrezCarrie Karvonen-Gutierrez, assistant professor of Epidemiology and core faculty member in the Center for Midlife Science at the School of Public Health, has been awarded a five-year NIH K01 Mentored Research Scientist Development Award.

Karvonen-Gutierrez is studying the use of metabolomics for early detection of osteoarthritis (OA) risk.

“OA, a debilitating age-related disease associated with pain, stiffness and poor functioning, is a​ major risk factor for mobility disability,” Karvonen-Gutierrez says. “Although early osteoarthritic changes within the joint typically begin around 40 to 65 years of age, early detection of the disease is limited given the lack of robust and reliable OA​ biomarkers.​” 

Metabolomics, a newly evolving field, analyzes small molecules in biological specimens.​ Metabolomics analysis has successfully identified novel biomarkers for diagnosis, monitoring and treatment for​ age-related diseases such as prostate cancer, diabetes and stenosis, and autoimmune diseases such as​ rheumatoid arthritis, Karvonen-Gutierrez says.​However, no studies to date have used metabolomics to identify biomarkers for OA​ or evaluated biomarkers among individuals matched for age and body size. ​ 

This K01 is funded to conduct​ a metabolomics analysis of OA risk within the longitudinal Michigan site of the Study of Woman's Health​ Across the Nation (MI-SWAN).