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PKU Academy fellowship (Newsletter September 2014)

PKU Academy fellowship (Newsletter September 2014)
  • Endocrinology and metabolism
  • Phenylketonuria (PKU)

Resource type


patricia schuck

The PKU Academy in collaboration with EXCEMED has developed a public competition for the award of a fellowship in the field of PKU. The fellowship is given to one young graduate in medicine, specialized or specializing in metabolic disorders, or to scientists or dietitians, with at least one year of experience in the PKU field. It supports planned research projects.

The 2013 award was awarded to Ms Patrícia Fernanda Schuck1. She received €24,000 to develop her research project proposal over the next two years. In accepting the award Ms Schuck remarked, 'I’m starting my scientific career so it’s very important to have some financial support. In Brazil it is not that easy to get funding when you are at the beginning of your career so this award will help me a lot by supporting my research. I will be able to buy reagents and equipment that I would have struggled to fund in other ways.'


2012 Fellowship award

priscila mazzola

Dr Priscila Mazzola2, winner of the 2012 fellowship presented her final results to delegates and thanked the PKU Academy for their support. Her study took place in two parts, looking at the effect of:

  1. Acute exercise on metabolic and hormonal levels in treated PKU: comparing eight treated PKU patients with 17 controls
  2. Regular exercise on amino acid and oxidative stress levels in PKU mice: comparing 16 wild-type (WT) and 16 PAH-enu2 C57BL/6 mice. The 16 mice of each type were assigned to either and exercise (Exe) group or a sedentary (Sed) group. The Exe mice had access to a running wheel, the Sed group did not

Dr Mazzola reported that:

  1. In pre-exercise, PKU patients showed lower levels of total cholesterol, both high- and low-density lipoproteins (HDL and LDL), and higher adiponectin concentration. In both PKU and controls total cholesterol, HDL and LDL increased after exercise; but only in the control (but not in PKU group) adrenaline increased and glucose decreased
  2. The SedPKU mice showed increased oxidative stress and impairments in co-ordination and balance compared with SedWT mice. ExePKU mice showed increased antioxidant potential levels in comparison to SedPKU mice. Plasma Phe and branched chain amino acid levels were negatively correlated with the daily distance ran only for the ExePKU mice.

She concluded that HPA along with diet composition might change acute exercise outcomes and that in the mouse model, oxidative stress and exercise increased antioxidant systems in the brain. Exercise seemed to modify plasma amino acid levels.


1 - Ms Patrícia Fernanda Schuck (Laboratory for the Inborn Errors of Metabolism, Universidade do Extremo sul Catarinense Criciúma (UNESC), Santa Caterina, Brazil)

2 - Dr Priscila Mazzola (Department of Molecular Neurobiology, Beatrix Children's Hospital, University of Groningen, The Netherlands)

Terms of use

This is a copyrighted resource for the sole purpose of education. Resource may be used for classroom training only and must remain as is, including the branding and EXCEMED logo. It is backed by a publishing license, signed by the author.

Target audience
Paediatricians, Dietitians, nutritionists, Scientists, Healthcare professionals
by Excemed
Endocrinology and metabolism

PKU Fellowship

The PKU Academy, in collaboration with EXCEMED, developed a public competition for the award of a fellowship in the field of phenylketonuria (PKU). The fellowship was given to one young graduate in medicine, specialising in metabolic disorders, or to scientists or dietitians, with at least one year of experience in the PKU field. The fellowship supported planned research projects and aimed to broaden the beneficiary's experience already acquired and documented in the field of PKU.

PKU Academy

The PKU section provides information and knowledge directed towards specialists in pediatrics and metabolic disorders, general practitioners, dieticians, and other healthcare professionals interested in PKU.