Rick Vega

  • Research

    Dr. Vega studies the impact of obesity and diabetes on skeletal muscle and cardiac metabolism.

  • Biography

Rick Vega's Research Focus

Cardiovascular Diseases, Diabetes - General, Metabolic Diseases, Obesity

Our laboratory focuses on the gene transcriptional regulatory programs controlling myocyte energy metabolism and mitochondrial function during development and in disease states, with emphasis on diabetes and heart failure.

Rick Vega's Research Report

Rick Vega
The dramatic increase in obesity is driving an increased risk of serious morbidities including metabolic syndrome, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. A frequent early manifestation of the complications of obesity is ectopic neutral lipid accumulation in the cells of tissues such as skeletal and cardiac muscle, liver and pancreas. It is now realized that this abnormal cellular lipid accumulation (steatosis) is tightly linked to the pathophysiology of obesity-related diabetes. Therefore, novel therapeutic strategies directed toward reducing lipid accumulation in non-storage tissues such as skeletal muscle are desperately needed. Our laboratory in collaboration with CPCCG has conducted a high-throughput screen to identify small molecules that block the accumulation of neutral lipid in skeletal myocytes.

About Rick Vega


Dr. Vega oversees projects involving therapeutic target discovery [drug development] and small molecule screens, including a collaboration with Takeda Pharmaceuticals.

As a senior member of the Kelly laboratory, Dr. Vega implements high content screening technologies and genomics to identify novel mechanisms that regulate myocyte lipid metabolism.

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