What is the focus of our program?
The program investigates how organs and cells work together to respond to biological and environmental challenges that influence the development and progression of metabolic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. There is significant focus on how signaling pathways and gene regulatory mechanisms maintain metabolic homeostasis and on genetic, epigenetic or environmental mechanisms that contribute to complications in the processing of nutrients for energy utilization and storage that are present in metabolic syndrome. Another important area of study is how insulin resistance and diabetes develop in states of caloric excess through the pathologic “crosstalk” across a variety of cells and tissues.
How will our research help patients?
Our research helps to decipher the fundamental cellular defects associated with metabolic diseases and how individual molecular defects combine to influence outward disease phenotypes. Through robust collaborations with our clinical partners at the Florida Hospital - SBP Translational Research Institute for Metabolism and Diabetes and others, discoveries emerging from our laboratories are rapidly translated into focused clinical studies that examine their relevance to human health. Because metabolic changes are also fundamental to many other pathological conditions, ranging from Alzheimer's disease to cancer, the basic principles of our research will also provide insight and therapeutic avenues for combating other major human diseases.