Dr. Jonscher is interested in understanding the early origins of obesity and cardiometabolic disease, and how exposure to excess fat in utero might increase the risk of adult disease in developing infants. Dr. Jonscher uses a mouse model of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which is the number one liver disease world-wide in children and adults. Increasingly, people who suffer from this disease progress to NASH, the more severe form, with high rates of mortality due to cardiovascular disease and no treatment currently available. Dr. Jonscher’s research has shown that treating obese mice during pregnancy and lactation with an antioxidant, pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ), can protect their offspring from progression toward NASH in adulthood. Her goal is to understand how, on the cellular level, PQQ provides this protective effect. Furthermore, infants born to obese mothers have increased liver fat and, in later life, regardless of gender, are at a higher risk of progressing to obesity. Ultimately, Dr. Jonscher hopes PQQ might be used to protect offspring of obese pregnancy and interrupt the vicious cycle of metabolic disease between mother and baby.