Muthu Periasamy's Research Focus
Dr. Periasamy’s laboratory is interested in identifying pathways that could prevent obesity and diabetes in humans. His research is focused on skeletal muscle, which represents 40 percent of body mass and burns approximately 80 percent of the glucose and fat we consume. His laboratory has identified a novel protein in muscle named sarcolipin (SLN) that regulates the Ca2+ ion transport ATPase (SERCA), which uses ATP for Ca2+ transport. Interestingly, SLN binding to SERCA results in uncoupling of SERCA activity (promotes futile cycling of SERCA) but increases ATP demand for Ca2+ transport. SLN uncoupling of SERCA increases local Ca2+ and promotes Ca2+ entry into mitochondria, stimulating oxidative phosphorylation/fatty-acid metabolism. Studies using genetically engineered mouse models for SLN have revealed that SLN regulates thermogenesis and energy metabolism; loss of SLN leads to cold intolerance and diet-induced obesity, whereas SLN overexpression in muscle resists against diet-induced obesity. Therefore, research is currently focused on understanding the role of SLN in whole-body metabolism and obesity. The ultimate goal is to identify targets and develop novel therapeutics to increase energy expenditure in muscle so that we can prevent obesity and its associated health problems.
Muthu Periasamy's Bio
Dr. Periasamy received his Master’s degree in Zoology with distinction from the University of Madras in India and an M.Phil. degree in Life Sciences from Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. A fellowship from the Government of France allowed him to study and obtain his Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the Université de Montpellier, France. He then did postdoctoral research in muscle biology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and was a faculty member in the department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Vermont as well as at the University of Cincinnati. In 2001, he became chair and professor in the Department of Physiology and Cell Biology and was instrumental in building a cardiovascular physiology program at The Ohio State University. He has also served as the president of the Association of Department Chairs in Physiology. In 2014, he joined the Diabetes and Obesity Research Center at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in Orlando, Fla., where he is professor of Cardiac Pathobiology. Dr. Periasamy has received several awards including the AHA Established Investigator and Outstanding Cardiovascular Researcher Award. In addition, he is a council member of the ISHR and ACDP. He has and continues to serve on committees and advisory panels for the National Institutes of Health, the American Diabetes Association, and American Heart Association. He is on the editorial board of JMCC, International Heart Research and AJP (Heart and Circulatory Physiology).