Interest Groups

Faculty

  • Accili Domenico

    Russell Berrie Foundation Professor of Diabetes

    Affiliation
    • Medicine-Endocrinology
    Expertise
    • Insulin action
    • endocrine pancreas
    Research Statement

    Dr. Accili’s research has delved into the pathogenesis of diabetes, the integrated physiology of insulin action and the mechanisms of pancreatic beta-cell failure. He is best known for the identification of a family of DNA-binding proteins that collectively regulate diverse pathophysiological processes, including liver glucose production, food intake, insulin production and adipogenesis. He is funded by NIDDK to conduct this work. He has been active in the NIDDK diabetes program for many years. Most recently, he has chaired the Beta Cell group for the Strategic Plan Initiative. Since 2011, he has served on the NIDDK Advisory Council.

    Interest Group

    Beta cell function and replacement, Integrated physiology, Diabetes Dyslipidemia and Heart disease

    Primary Core Use
    • All
    Secondary Core Use
    • All
    Key Collaborations

    HAEUSLER, QIANG, WARDLAW, TALL, PAJVANI, LEIBEL, WELCH, MCGRAW, GU, TABAS, FERRANTE, BLANER, CREUSOT, DECKELBAUM

  • Leibel Rudolph

    Christopher J. Murphy Professor of Diabetes Research

    Affiliation
    • Pediatrics-Molecular Genetics and Medicine
    Expertise
    • Genetics of Complex disorders
    • Obesity and diabetes
    • Stem cell biology
    Research Statement

    Dr. Leibel has worked in diabetes and obesity research for over 25 years. His initial research efforts were focused on adrenergic receptor-mediated effects on lipolysis, and on the control of fatty acid re- esterification in human adipose tissue. In 1985 Dr. Leibel and his associates (then at Rockefeller University) began a series of experiments to produce molecular maps of mouse single gene obesity mutations: ob, db, fat and tub. These efforts, in collaboration with the Friedman laboratory at Rockefeller, led to the cloning of the ob (leptin) gene in 1994. This discovery, by identifying a major signal of adipose tissue mass to the brain, has had an important impact on obesity research in animals and humans. Dr. Leibel’s group has subsequently worked out the fine structure of many of the genes in the leptin response pathway, and in collaboration with investigators around the world, have studied the contribution of allelic variation in these genes to aspects of body composition, obesity and type 2 diabetes in humans. During the past 8 years, Leibel has worked with clinicians at Columbia (Goland) and scientists at NYSCF (Egli) to create insulin-producing cells from fibroblasts-derived iPS cells. These cells are being used to characterize the cellular basis for various clinical types of diabetes and obesity.

    Interest Group

    Beta cell function and replacement, Integrated physiology

    Primary Core Use
    • All
    Secondary Core Use
    • All
    Key Collaborations

    ACCILI, CHUNG, EGLI, GOLAND, HARRIS, ROSENBAUM, WARDLAW, ZHANG,FREEBY

  • Al-Awqati Qais

    Robert F. Loeb Professor of Medicine, Professor of Physiology & Cellular Biophysics

    Affiliation
    • Division of Nephrology, Columbia University College of P&S
    Expertise
    • Insulin actionT35 for Medical students
    • Diabetes complications
    Research Statement

    Dr. Qais has been directly involved in training physician-scientists and nephrologists for over 40 years. During this period, more than 40 young physicians and scientists have passed through his lab as a principal investigator as well as a division chief of Nephrology. Most of his trainees continue to be involved in academic enterprises and several have achieved leadership positions in Divisions of Nephrology (or other Divisions) as well as leadership of departments of Medicine. He advises the DRC co-Directors on training matters, and substitutes for them when confict of interest situations arise.

    Interest Group

    Integrated physiology

    Primary Core Use
    • None
    Secondary Core Use
    • None
  • Ali Ziad

    Robert F. Loeb Professor of Medicine

    Affiliation

    • Medicine-Cardiology

    Expertise

    • Diabetes dyslipidemia heart disease

    Research Statement

    The goal of my research is to investigate the adverse biological responses to cardiovascular injury. As a critical co-morbidity of heart disease, diabetes is one of my main interests. During my DPhil, I trained in vascular biology, specifically redox signaling and inflammation in accelerated atherosclerosis. In addition to my theoretical training, I also trained in mouse model of atherosclerosis and vascular injury, protein quantification, DNA/RNA extraction, high-throughput sequencing and systems biology. I used a combination of “dry” and “wet” training to discover a novel role for the Ros1 receptor, previously identified in highly malignant cancers, in oxido-reductive regulation of the response to vascular injury. I have published extensively in vascular biology specifically the response to vascular injury and its regulation by inflammation and oxido-reductive stress. I have received a PF grant from the DRC, which has been instrumental to continuing my work.

    Interest Group

    Diabetes dyslipidemia heart disease

    Primary Core Use

    • PF Grant recipient
    • MMTP

    Secondary Core Use

    • TBAC
    • ATPI

    Key Collaborations

    Tall, Tabas, Johnson, Pajvani

  • Area-Gomez Estela

    Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology

    Affiliation

    • Department of Neurology, Columbia University

    Expertise

    • Lipidomics

    Research Statement

    I study on how essential biological pathways maintain cell homeostasis, especially in response to pathological processes. I am interested in how mitochondrial alterations play a role in chronic degenerative diseases such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s Disease. I discovered that APP C-terminal fragments are enriched in a subcompartment of the ER that interacts with mitochondria, called mitochondria-associated ER membranes (MAM), the locus of many cellular functions including lipid homeostasis. This exciting result opened a new line of research in the field of metabolic disturbances in insulin signaling and mitochondrial disease. For this reason, I have spent the last seven years not only investigating the regulation of the physical and functional interactions between mitochondria and ER in the regulation of cell’s homeostasis, but also developing new approaches to study the role of MAM in human pathology. The DRC PF award gives me an opportunity to apply my knowledge and technical skills to the important question of mitochondrial function in diabetes.

    Interest Group

    PF Grant recipient, Integrated physiology

    Primary Core Use

    • ATPI

    Secondary Core Use

    • MMTP

    Key Collaborations

    DiMauro, Hirano, Schon

  • Berk Paul

    Professor of Medicine

    Affiliation

    • Medicine-Digestive and Liver Diseases

    Expertise

    • FFA transport

    Research Statement

    The Berk laboratory studies the mechanisms by which long chain fatty acids (LCFA) cross cell membranes, and the pathophysiologic consequences of disordered regulation of transmembrane LCFA transport in obesity-  and alcohol-induced fatty liver and cardiomyopathy.  Using basic methods of cell and molecular biology, we have characterized and cloned one of several recognized LCFA transporters, defined the normal processes for cellular LCFA uptake in isolated rodent and human fat cells, and in rat and mouse hepatocytes and cardiomyocytes, and are currently characterizing the regulation of LCFA uptake into these cells and into established hepatoma, adipocyte and cardiomyocyte cell lines. Observations at the bench are confirmed by collaborative work with bariatric surgeons at Columbia and Cornell using human tissues obtained from morbidly obese patients during bariatric surgery and from non-obese patients undergoing other, minimally invasive surgical procedures.

    Interest Group

    Integrated physiology, Diabetes, dyslipidemia and heart disease

    Primary Core Use

    • MMTP

    Secondary Core Use

    • TBAC

    Key Collaborations

    LEIBEL, GOLDBERG, BLANER

  • Blaner William

    Professor of Medicine

    Affiliation

    • Medicine-Preventive Medicine and Nutrition

    Expertise

    • Retinoids

    Research Statement

    The Blaner laboratory studies the role of retinoic acid signaling. They have been involved in key studies of RBP4 and its rtole in insulin resistacne. More recnelty, they have explored the role of retinoids in insulin secretion from pancreatic β-cells. The specific hypothesis being addressed is that ablation of retinoic acid/retinoic acid receptor (RAR) signaling in β-cells in adult mice impairs glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and that this is associated with a decrease in β-cell mass. Study of RARdn transgenic mice, where transgene expression was induced at 3 months of age, establishes that there is a marked downregulation of expression of the known retinoic acid- responsive genes Cyp26a1, Stra6 and CrbpI in isolated islets obtained from these mice. These observations are consistent with the notion that expression of the RARdn transgene effects islet glucose sensing and insulin gene expression. Surprisingly, the RARdn expressing mice are euglycemic and show no differences in their responses to glucose tolerance tests compared to matched control mice. The basis for this unexpected but potentially very significant finding is currently being investigated by the laboratory.

    Interest Group

    Beta cell function and replacement, Integrated physiology

    Primary Core Use

    • MMTP

    Secondary Core Use

    • ATPI

    Key Collaborations

    GOLDBERG, BERK, JIANG, KARSENTY, GINSBERG, ACCILI

  • Chen Xiaojuan

    Assistant Professor of Surgical Sciences

    Affiliation

    • Surgery & Center for Clinical and Translational Immunology, Columbia University

    Expertise

    • Beta Cell differentiation

    Research Statement

    Trained as a physician and a scientist, I have a long-standing interest in human islet cell pathophysiology for the understanding of diabetes onset and development, and in islet cell transplantation for the treatment of diabetes. Over the years, my laboratory has established various in vitro cell culture and in vivo islet transplantation models for studying islet cell function, survival, gene expression and regeneration. Our research is currently focused on understanding the potential role of human islet alpha cells played in the development of diabetes, and on characterizing the immunogeneicity of islet cells. In addition, I am collaborating with investigators at Columbia on several projects including generating functional mature beta cells from human inducible pluripotent stem cells, and inducing immune tolerance to islet allo- or xenografts in non-human primates. Previously, as the Director of the Human Islet Isolation and Transplantation Laboratory at Northwestern University, I performed islet isolation for research and clinical transplantation from>180 human pancreata where I optimized this technique and became an expert in the exacting methodology and compliance procedures required for FDA approved clinical cellular therapies. Since joining CCTI at the Columbia University Medical Center as the Director of Islet Transplantation, I have trained and directed my team in performing islet isolation from mouse, monkey, pig and human pancreata, and in characterizing islet function and survival in vitro and in vivo by transplanting them into diabetic mice. Besides transplant tolerance induction studies, I am also pursuing basic research on improving islet cell engraftment after transplantation.

    Interest Group

    Beta cell function and replacement

    Primary Core Use

    • ATPI

    Secondary Core Use

    • TBAC

    Key Collaborations

    Sykes, Creusot, Harris, Egli, Leibel, Goland

  • Chung Wendy

    Associate Professor

    Affiliation

    • Pediatrics-Molecular Genetics

    Expertise

    • Genetics of Complex disorders, obesity and diabetes

    Research Statement

    Dr. Wendy Chung is a human geneticist whose current research activities include efforts to identify genes and their relevant allelic variants related to the development of metabolic diseases such as obeisty and diabetes. Genotype-phenotype correlations are  made by comparing clinical features and outcome based on genetic etiology of a disease. Dr. Chung and associates have mapped and cloned naturally occurring spontaneous mutations in the mouse causing both monogenic forms of obesity (tubby and diabetes) as well as a suppressor of obesity called mahoganoid. They have also identified 25 quantitative trait loci (QTLs) that interact with monogenic forms of obesity to produce varying degrees of diabetes susceptibility. We have made congenic lines for most of these QTLs and have identified a QTL for diabetes call Lisch-like. In parallel with these rodent studies, Dr. Chung is a participant in large ongoing human genetic studies to identify the genetic susceptibility to obesity and diabetes in humans. In collaboration with investigators Dr. Chung also provide the molecular genetics core services for the Diabetes Research Center, Pediatric Neuromuscular Clinical Research Network studying spinal muscular atrophy, and the Pediatric Heart Network.

    Interest Group

    Beta cell function and replacement

    Primary Core Use

    • TBAC

    Secondary Core Use

    • ATPI

    Key Collaborations

    Egli, Leduc, Leibel, Rosenbaum, Reilly, Goland, Zhang

  • Creusot Remi

    Assistant Professor of Medical Sciences

    Affiliation

    • Center for Clinical and Translational Immunology, Columbia University

    Expertise

    • Diabetes and autoimmunity

    Research Statement

    The goals of my research are to understand the mechanisms behind the impaired induction or maintenance of immune tolerance in individuals with autoimmune disease, and ultimately, to devise more efficient, more targeted and safer therapeutic approaches to restore long-term immune tolerance, a likely prerequisite for curing autoimmunity. His expertise spans over 17 years in studying T cell responses in immunity and tolerance settings, with 13 years devoted to understanding the pathogenesis and developing cell-based and antigen-specific therapies in Type 1 diabetes (T1D). The major focus of my research has been on tolerogenic stromal and dendritic cells, the regulation of diabetogenic T cell responses in the pancreatic lymph nodes (PLNs), the balance between immunogenic and tolerogenic processes, and between pathogenic and regulatory T cells, in the context of beta cell antigen presentation, the mechanisms underlying these processes, and the development of approaches to specifically target diabetogenic T cells for tolerance. His lab uses flow cytometry as the primary research tool to investigate the response of antigen-specific T cells in steady-state maintenance of tolerance and in antigen-specific immunotherapies. He has personally operated five models of flow cytometry analyzer, two models of cell sorter and three different acquisition and analysis programs. Additionally, he has an extensive knowledge and experience with fluorochromes, fluorescent proteins, and cell proliferation / viability dyes used in flow cytometry, as well as panel design and troubleshooting. He frequently assists other DRC faculty members who have limited experience with or infrequent need of flow cytometry.

    Interest Group

    Beta cell function and replacement

    Primary Core Use

    • CCS

    Secondary Core Use

    • MMTP

    Key Collaborations

    Egli, Accili, Sykes, Pajvani, Qiang, Chen, Goland

  • Deckelbaum Richard

    Robert R. Williams Professor of Nutrition

    Affiliation

    • Pediatrics-Gastroenterology and Nutrition

    Expertise

    • Lipoproteins, childhood obesity

    Research Statement

    My initial research training as a postdoctoral fellow in biophysics using NMR, calorimetry, and X-ray techniques to study the structure of lipoproteins has allowed me throughout my career to understand the importance of physical structure of different lipids in the biochemistry, and more recently, in the molecular biology of lipids and lipid metabolism.
    Having been funded continuously for over twenty years by NIH R01s and PPGs focusing on triglyceride emulsions, lipoprotein metabolism, and lipid metabolism in in vitro and in vivo, we have obtained very exciting results over the past three-four years showing that EPA/DHA rich diets have the ability to inhibit pathways associated with atherogenesis in four different rodent models.  I believe that my continuing, strong track record of having publications in respected peer-reviewed journals shows that I have ability to be continually scientifically productive, and allow me to contribute to renewal of the DRC at Columbia University.

    Interest Group

    Diabetes, Dyslipidemia, and Heart Disease

    Primary Core Use

    • ASSAY

    Secondary Core Use

    • MMTP

    Key Collaborations

    Goldberg, Ramasamy, Tall, Accili

  • Demmer Ryan

    Assistant Professor of Epidemiology

    Affiliation

    • Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University

    Expertise

    • Dental health and diabetes

    Research Statement

    Dr. Demmer tests the hypothesis that periodontal bacterial colonization patterns are associated with increased levels of insulin resistance among diabetes-free subject. His general research interest is in chronic disease risk factor epidemiology but with specific focus on periodontal infections as a risk factor for immune system mediated chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes development. He has extensive experience in the area of periodontal infection as a risk factor for systemic disease, most recently in the context of a K99/R00 career development award. A specific focus of the career development award phase was on training in molecular epidemiologic methods relevant to high throughput bioinformatics approaches in the context of microarray biotechnology. He also received in-depth training regarding methods for studying bacterial exposures as an etiologic factor for chronic disease development. He is currently the PI of the Oral Infections, Glucose Intolerance and Insulin Resistance Study (ORIGINS); the cohort in which the currently proposed data collection will occur.

    Interest Group

    Global health and disparities

    Primary Core Use

    • TBAC

    Secondary Core Use

    • ATPI

    Key Collaborations

    Desvarieux, Rosenbaum, Goland

  • Desvarieux Moise

    Associate Professor of Epidemiology

    Affiliation

    • Mailman School of Public Health-Epidemiology 

    Expertise

    • Oral Health and Diabetes Risks

    Research Statement

    As an infectious disease epidemiologist, Dr. Desvarieux studies the interaction of infectious and chronic diseases. He is the PI of the INVEST study, and works collaboratively with colleagues in the DRC on this large multi-ethnic cohort of participants in Northern Manhattan aiming to assess the contribution of chronic periodontal infections to vascular disease. He has interacted extensively with DRC PF awardee Dr. Demmer.

    Interest Group

    Oral Health and Diabetes Risks Global health and disparities

    Primary Core Use

    • N/A

    Secondary Core Use

    • ASSAY

    Key Collaborations

    Demmer, Rosenbaum

  • Doege Claudia

    Assistant Professor

    Affiliation

    • Pediatrics-Molecular Genetics

    Expertise

    • Beta cell function and replacement

    Research Statement

    Dr. Doege is a newly-appointed tenure-track investigator whose main interest and expertise are in the generation of patient-specific iPS cells to be converted into cell types of metabolic interest, inclduing neurons and pancreatic beta cells.

    Interest Group

    Beta cell function and replacement

    Primary Core Use

    • CCS

    Secondary Core Use

    • ATPI

    Key Collaborations

    Leibel, Egli, Sui, Goland

  • Ducy Patricia

    Assistant Professor

    Affiliation

    • Genetics and Development

    Expertise

    • Osteocalcin and beta cell biology

    Research Statement

    Patricia Ducy identified Runx2 as a major regulator of cell differentiation during skeleton development and demonstrated that bone formation is centrally regulated by a leptin-dependent mechanism. More recently, she and Dr. Karsenty showed that osteoblasts, the bone-forming cells, regulate energy metabolism by secreting a novel hormone, osteocalcin, and that gut- derived serotonin is a major regulator of bone mass accrual. Her research uses a combination of molecular biology, mouse genetics, and physiology to analyze the molecular mechanisms controlling bone cells differentiation and skeleton homeostasis. She has used and plans to continue to use multiple Core facilities.

    Interest Group

    Beta cell function and replacement

    Primary Core Use

    • MMTP

    Secondary Core Use

    • ATPI

    Key Collaborations

    Karsenty, Kousteni, Levine

  • Egli Dieter

    Assistant Professor

    Affiliation

    • Pediatrics

    Expertise

    • Stem cells and diabetes

    Research Statement

    My laboratory uses stem cells to investigate the cellular and molecular biology of diabetes, and to develop cell replacement therapies for diabetics. Diabetes is a disorder characterized by a loss of beta cell mass, and/or a loss of beta cell-autonomous function, leading to a deficiency of insulin and deranged regulation of blood glucose. In type 1 diabetes (T1D), loss of beta cell mass is caused by an autoimmune assault. Because of the limited ability of beta cells to regenerate, even if inhibition of the autoimmune response to beta cells were successful, beta cell mass and adequate glucose-regulation are unlikely to fully recover. Therefore, an exogenous source of beta cells for transplantation could be therapeutically useful. To generate such cells, I am developing a reprogramming technique using human oocytes.

    Interest Group

    Beta cell function and replacement

    Primary Core Use

    • ATPI

    Secondary Core Use

    • CCS

    Key Collaborations

    Chung, Goland, Leibel 

  • Ferrante Anthony

    Dorothy & Daniel Silberberg Associate Professor of Medicine

    Affiliation

    • Medicine-Preventive Medicine and Nutrition

    Expertise

    • Innate immunity and metabolism

    Research Statement

    Work in the Ferrante Laboratory has revealed that the immune system recognizes and responds to changes in metabolic function. Studies in the laboratory focus on how the immune and metabolic systems interact. For several decades it was known that obesity and related metabolic disorders increase the concentration inflammatory molecules found in the circulation and in key metabolic tissues. Studies in the Ferrante Laboratory revealed that the obesity-induced increases in inflammation are part of a complex immune response in which macrophages, T-cells and NK cells are recruited to metabolic organs and tissues during the development of \obesity, diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Much of the current work in the Ferrante Laboratory is focused on identifying and characterizing the immune cell populations that are altered by obesity and how the immune system regulates metabolism. By determining the adaptive and pathological functions of the immune system in metabolism, the laboratory identifies cells, pathways and molecules that are candidate targets for therapeutic interventions and that can be used to predict metabolic outcomes. Dr. Ferrante leads a DRC Core and is a member of the DRC Executive Committee.

    Interest Group

    Integrated physiology

    Primary Core Use

    • MMTP

    Secondary Core Use

    • CCS

    Key Collaborations

    Accili, Leibel, Ozcan, Pajvani, Qiang, Egli, Sykes, Tabas

  • Freda Pamela

    Associate Professor of Medicine

    Affiliation

    • Medicine-Endocrinology

    Expertise

    • Growth hormone and IGFs in pituitary

    Research Statement

    This investigator conducts clinical and translational research in patients with pituitary tumors and pituitary hormone deficiency. One focus of our research is to understand the metabolic abnormalities in acromegaly, in particular insulin resistance, and body composition, a clinical marker of GH action in acromegaly, in relation to specific levels of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) during treatment with the growth hormone receptor antagonist, pegvisomant and during surgical and somatostatin analog therapy.  We are currently examining body composition by total body MRI in patients with acromegaly and have found reductions in visceral adipose tissue, but increases in adipose tissue around muscle in these patients with GH excess. We are also examining fat within muscle, intramyocellular lipid, and within the liver, intrahepatic lipid, by magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) in patients with acromegaly undergoing surgery and other forms of medical therapy.  A focus of this study is to understand the role of fat distribution in causing the insulin resistance of acromegaly and its recovery during therapy. This ongoing study was previously funded by a DRC Pilot and Feasibility Award.

    Interest Group

    Integrated physiology

    Primary Core Use

    • TBAC

    Secondary Core Use

    • N/A

    Key Collaborations

    Wardlaw, Korner, Ferrante, Goland

  • Gallagher Dympna

    Professor of Nutritional Medicine

    Affiliation

    • Medicine- Endocrinology, Columbia University

    Expertise

    • Energetics and body composition

    Research Statement

    Dr. Gallagher is an Associate Professor of Nutritional Medicine, and is Director of the Human Body Composition Core Laboratory of the New York Obesity & Nutrition Research Center, whose research focuses on energetics and body composition, and the effects of body weight and body composition on health risk throughout the life cycle. Dr. Gallagher's scientific interests fall into the following categories: (a) resting energy expenditure at the organ/tissue level; (b) the composition of weight change in elderly, during growth and development (beginning at birth), and during intentional weight loss (lifestyle intervention and  bariatric surgery induced); (c) the understanding of race differences in body composition; and d) the validation of new body composition measurement instrumentation/techniques.

    Interest Group

    Integrated physiology

    Primary Core Use

    • TBAC

    Secondary Core Use

    • N/A

    Key Collaborations

    Freda, Pi-Sunyer, Laferrere, St.Onge, Leibel, Wardlaw, Ginsberg

  • Gangwisch James

    Assistant Professor

    Affiliation

    • Department of Psychiatry

    Expertise

    • Sleep duration and metabolic syndrome

    Research Statement

    James Gangwisch, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at the Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Department of Psychiatry, Division of Cognitive Neuroscience and a Research Scientist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. He has over ten years of clinical experience as a psychotherapist in inpatient, outpatient, and research psychiatric settings. His research has focused on the relationship between sleep duration and diseases associated with the metabolic syndrome – obesity, hypertension, and diabetes. The study that he led linking inadequate sleep to obesity helped motivate the National Institutes of Health  to release a request for proposals on “The Mechanisms Linking Short Sleep Duration and Risk of Obesity or Overweight”. He led the first study to show an association between short sleep duration and hypertension incidence (American Heart Association journal Hypertension). Dr. Gangwisch serves as a peer reviewer for numerous medical journals and is actively involved with the DRC program enrichment activities.

    Interest Group

    Global health, health disparities, and underserved urban populations

    Primary Core Use

    • TBAC

    Secondary Core Use

    • N/A

    Key Collaborations

    Heyer, Walsh, Mayer, Small

  • Ginsberg Henry

    Herbert and Florence Irving Professor of Medicine

    Affiliation

    • Medicine-Preventive Medicine and Nutrition

    Expertise

    • Lipoproteins, atherosclerosis

    Research Statement

    Dr. Ginsberg conducts research related to the regulation of the levels and metabolism of apolipoprotein B-containing lipoproteins, the lipoproteins carrying triglycerides and the bulk of cholesterol in blood. These include the atherogenic very low density and low density lipoproteins. Dr. Ginsberg has a particular emphasis on the pathophysiology of hypertriglyceridemia and the dyslipidemia associated with insulin resistance and diabetes mellitus. Research is conducted at three levels: tissue culture using both human and rat hepatoma cells, transgenic mice, and human clinical studies. In cultured cells, Dr. Ginsberg and his associates have described the role of lipid substrate availability in determining if newly synthesized a of degradation and lipoprotein assembly of apoB. His group has characterized the role of the proteasome in the degradation of apoB.In transgenic mice, he had developed a model of insulin resistance and dylipidemia with many characteristics of the human disorder. This model, as well as others now in use in the lab, allow the group to dissect the important components of substrate availability and genetic control that lead to hypertriglyceridemia. Dr. Ginsberg’s group makes and studies transgenic mice, conducting whole body, cellular, and molecular experiments.In clinical studies, Dr. Ginsberg is investigating postprandial hyperlipidemia as a risk factor in patients with diabetes. He is also part of a group at Columbia that will be studying the role of glycemic, lipid and blood pressure control in the prevention of cardiovascular disease in patients with diabetes. The latter, named the ACCORD trial, is a 10-year trial with 10,000 patients at 6 sites across the United States. Dr. Ginsberg also has a long record of research into the effects of diet on lipid and lipoprotein metabolism in humans, and has conducted numerous controlled feeding studies in humans.

    Interest Group

    Diabetes dyslipidemia heart disease

    Primary Core Use

    • MMTP

    Secondary Core Use

    • TBAC

    Key Collaborations

    Di Paolo, Goldberg, Tall, Pajvani, Accili, Blaner, Tabas

  • Goland Robin

    Merrill Eastman Professor of Clinical Medicine

    Affiliation

    • Medicine-Endocrinology

    Expertise

    • Clinical trials in type 1 and type 2 diabetes

    Research Statement

    Dr. Robin Goland directs the patient care and clinical research programs at the Berrie Center. She was instrumental in establishing the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center in July 1998. Under the leadership of Dr. Goland and Berrie Center Co-Director Dr. Rudolph Leibel, the Berrie Center has become recognized nationally and internationally for excellence and innovation in patient care and research in diabetes. Translational research in type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Her research interest include: (1) Preservation of beta cell function in new onset type 1 diabetes; (2) Transition of pediatric patients with diabetes to adult care (3) Stem cell biology in diabete; and (4)  Treatment trials in new onset type 1 diabetes and new onset type 2 diabetes. Dr. Goland's leadership has been essential for the clinical translational of key DRC projects, including: PET imaging of pancreatic islets; development of iPS from skin fibroblasts of patients with  auotimmune diabetes as well as monogenic forms of diabetes and obesity; progression of immune response in new-onset type 1 diabetics; and role of Fc receptors in modulating autoimmunity. Dr. Goland leads several ongoing translational and clinical outcome studies in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

    Interest Group

    Beta cell function and replacement

    Primary Core Use

    • TBAC

    Secondary Core Use

    • N/A

    Key Collaborations

    Leibel, Harris, Rosenbaum, Creusot, Sykes, Egli, Ferrante, Gallagher, Pi-Sunyer

  • Haeusler Rebecca

    Assistant Professor of Pathology and Cell Biology

    Affiliation

    • Pathology and Cell Biology

    Expertise

    • Bile acids, HDL cholesterol and diabetes

    Research Statement

    The goals of my research are to understand the development of proatherogenic abnormalities in lipid metabolism in insulin resistant individuals, and to identify new therapeutic targets for improving these
    abnormalities. Two key areas of focus are dysregulation of (i) high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and (ii) bile acid metabolism. HDL mediates multiple cardioprotective actions including reverse cholesterol transport (RCT). It’s unknown how HDL becomes dysregulated during insulin resistance. My laboratory’s research has uncovered a novel role of the insulin-regulated FoxO transcription factors to regulate HDL composition, HDLcholesterol levels, and catabolism of cholesterol into bile acids. Bile acids are critical for maintaining cholesterol homeostasis, and regulating hepatic glucose and lipid production. We have shown that bile acids are dysregulated during insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes in humans, and these defects may impair the normal functions of these molecules. Through these two research areas, we aim to shed light on mechanisms of metabolic abnormalities and atherogenesis in the natural history of type 2 diabetes, and to identify potential therapeutic targets.

    Interest Group

    Diabetes dyslipidemia heart disease

    Primary Core Use

    • MMTP

    Secondary Core Use

    • TBAC

    Key Collaborations

    Accili, Tall, Ozcan

  • Harris Paul

    Associate Professor

    Affiliation

    • Medicine-Oncology

    Expertise

    • Beta cell imaging

    Research Statement

    Our lab is interested in non invasive imaging of beta cell mass and in the neuroendocrine regulation of insulin secretion. These research avenues imapact management and diagnosis of diabetic disease as well as offer possible new avenues for the treatment of diabetes. Research plans include
    1) Prospective study of first degree relative of individuals with T1DM at high risk for development of T1DM because of the presence of multiple anti islet antibodies or compromise first phase insulin secretion.
    2) Determine feasibility of use of PET based BCM measurements as end-point in immune intervention trials in individuals with new onset T1D (e.g. to follow efficacy of anti CD3)
    3) Prospective studies of beta cell mass in ZF, ZDF and BBZDR (Fa/fa) animal models.
    4) Prospective studies of beta cell mass in individuals at high-risk for development of T2D because of existing hyperinsulinemia and concurrent metabolic syndrome.
    5) Determine role of VMAT2 in islet physiology, development and glucose homeostasis
    6) Explore beta cell neurofunctional imaging using other "CNS" probes.

    Interest Group

    Beta cell function and replacement

    Primary Core Use

    • ATPI

    Secondary Core Use

    • MMTP

    Key Collaborations

    Goland, Stojanovic, Lin, Leibel, Zeltser

  • Hripcsak George

    Vivian Beaumont Allen Professor of Biomedical Informatics Chair, Department of Biomedical Informatics, Columbia University

    Affiliation

    • Biomedical Informatics

    Expertise

    • Use of bionformatics to improve diabetes treatment

    Research Statement

    I have 22 years of experience in biomedical informatics, with over 200 publications in the informatics literature. I have a long track record of developing, implementing, and studying informatics interventions. I have worked extensively in supporting clinician and patient decisions. As a board-certified internist, I have deep knowledge of medicine. I built the decision support system for Columbia’s Davies Award-winning Clinical Information System (CIS), and I designed, deployed, and continue to maintain WebCIS, one of the earliest (1998) large-scale Web-based clinical information systems, which has 7000 users entering and reviewing data on 2.5 million patients. I serve as director of informatics services for NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. I have contributed extensively to the informatics literature, especially in the areas of clinical systems, data mining, and natural language processing. The work ranges from practical clinical studies to innovative methodological work published in the informatics, computer science, and physics literature. I have published frequently on evaluation in biomedical informatics, exploiting my master’s degree in biostatistics. I have published extensivley on methods for Facilitating Problem Solving in Diabetes Management. I am currently funded to develop theoretically-grounded, practice-based HIT interventions for facilitating effecting diabetes self-management through problem-solving, experimentation, and discovery. I interact routienly with DRC members and diabetologists and I look forward to my continuing interaction with the DRC.

    Interest Group

    Global Health, Health Disparities, and Underserved Urban Populations

    Primary Core Use

    • TBAC

    Secondary Core Use

    • N/A

    Key Collaborations

    Chung, Gloand, Luchsinger

  • Johnson Lynne

    Professor

    Affiliation

    • Medicine

    Expertise

    • Molecular imaging of diabetic complications

    Research Statement

    I have had a long interest in molecular imaging- developing applications for novel radioactive probes targeting sites in vasculature and myocardium that are important in clinical disease.  I have worked with relevant small and large animal models.  I began working with monoclonal antibodies targeting heavy chain myosin in experimental animal models of myocardial infarction and cardiac transplant rejection and in clinical trials.  I have investigated imaging tissue hypoxia, apoptosis, and integrin expression using radionuclide and more recently also optical imaging probes.  Along with our collaborators Drs Ann Marie Schmidt and Ravi Ramasamy we have developed a mAb to Receptor for Advanced Glycated Endproducts (RAGE).  RAGE is a multiligand receptor that binds a number of different ligands activating intracellular signaling important in atherosclerosis, diabetes, tumors, and neurodegenerative diseases, and lung disease. We have received funding from the NIH and JDRF to investigate the role of RAGE- directed imaging in documenting and quantifying the effect of diabetes on RAGE expression in atherosclerosis, limb ischemia, and myocardial reperfusion injury.  We have developed the model of streptozotocin induced diabetes in farm pigs and in hyperlipidemic swine (LDL receptor deficient) to look at effects diabetes on RAGE directed imaging in a large animal model as a translational step towards development of a clinical imaging probe.

    Interest Group

    Diabetes dyslipidemia heart disease

    Primary Core Use

    • TBAC

    Secondary Core Use

    • MMTP

    Key Collaborations

    Ferrante, Harris

  • Karsenty Gerard

    Paul A. Marks Professor

    Affiliation

    • Genetics and Development

    Expertise

    • Metabolic effects of bone

    Research Statement

    The lab uses mouse genetics to identify functional connections between metabolically relevant organs. Current studies include the role of osteocalcin as a mediator of hepatic and beta cell function,a nd the role of leptin neurons in the hypothalamus, as well as the peripheral effects of leptin on bone, In another line of research the molecular elucidation of two known human genetic diseases allowed us to identify another novel physiological loop this one linking bone and the GI tract. Indeed, we have shown recently that gut-derived serotonin is a hormone whose main function is to inhibit bone formation by osteoblast.

    Interest Group

    Integrated physiology

    Primary Core Use

    • MMTP

    Secondary Core Use

    • ATPI

    Key Collaborations

    Ducy,  Kousteni, Marks, Mcgraw

  • Kissileff Harry

    Special Lecturer

    Affiliation

    • Medicine-Endocrinology

    Expertise

    • Body composition and insulin sensitivity

    Research Statement

    I have been interested in the role of body composition in peripheral insulin sensitivity and the potential role of perturbations in body composition in the progression/reversal of diabetes and obesity. My work in focused on studyign human physiology in vivo using state-of-the-art metabolic and body composition determination techniques.

    Interest Group

    Integrated physiology

    Primary Core Use

    • TBAC

    Secondary Core Use

    • N/A

    Key Collaborations

    Leibel, Mayer, Rosenbaum, Pi-Sunyer

  • Korner Judith

    Irving Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine

    Affiliation

    • Medicine-Endocrinology

    Expertise

    • Obesity, bariatric surgery

    Research Statement

    My research interests are focused on the hypothalamic regulation of energy homeostasis and the development of treatments for diabetes usign insight gained from bariatric surgery. I am interested in the molecular mechanisms by which several hormones discovered over the past few years control food intake. I am studying the neuroendocrine changes that occur with weight loss in both rodent models and obese humans. I also study the role of agouti-related protein (AGRP) in regulating food intake. AGRP is a hypothalamic peptide that increases food intake in rodents by antagonizing the action of alpha- melanocyte stimulating hormone (a-MSH), a peptide that acts to decrease food intake, at melanocortin receptors within the brain.§ Examining the role of the dopaminergic system in energy homeostasis and insulin sensitivity. My lab also uses rodent models to design effective weight loss strategies for future use in humans. One such study involves combination treatment with naloxone (an opioid antagonist) and leptin (a peptide hormone produces by adipocytes). Our human studies include: (1) Analysis of hormones involved in energy homeostasis before and  after bariatric surgery (gastric bypass and banding) and implantation of a gastric pacemaker, an experimental procedure used for weight reduction; (2) Exploration of different therapies for the treatment of hypothalamic obesity. I have been supported by a DRC PF study that was crucial to obtain R01 funding for my projects. I actively use several Core services.

    Interest Group

    Integrated physiology

    Primary Core Use

    • TBAC

    Secondary Core Use

    • N/A

    Key Collaborations

    Haeusler, Leibel, Wardlaw, Rosenbaum, Zhang, Chung, Goland

  • LaFerrere Blandine

    Professor of Clinical Medicine

    Affiliation

    • Medicine-Endocrinology, Columbia University

    Expertise

    • Obesity, bariatric surgery

    Research Statement

    The focus of my current research, with ongoing funding from the NIH and the ADA, is the mechanisms of diabetes remission and appetite regulation after bariatric surgery, with a  particular interest on the incretin hormones GLP-1 and GIP, and other gut peptides such as PYY- 3-36 and oxyntomodulin.  My laboratory has contributed significantly to the understanding of the mechanisms of diabetes remission after bariatric surgery by showing a normalization of the incretin effect on insulin secretion shortly after GBP. By using a study design of a carefully matched weight loss, we have shown that GBP is superior to diet or gastric banding in terms of incretin levels and effect, insulin secretion and glucose control, and amino acids metabolism. By contributing to the understanding of diabetes remission after bairatric surgery, and the role of the gut in glucose metabolism, we hope to develop new innovative therapeutic intervention to treat type 2 diabetes. As an endocrinologist diabetologist, I treat patients with diabetes type 1 and type 2, with and without obesity. I have been a recipient of DRC PF funds, and I maintain an active involvement with the DRC, especially through my co-leadership of Core B.

    Interest Group

    Global Health, Health Disparities, and Underserved Urban Populations

    Primary Core Use

    • ASSAY

    Secondary Core Use

    • N/A

    Key Collaborations

    Egli, Leduc, Leibel, Rosenbaum, Reilly, Goland, Zhang

  • Lavine Joel

    Professor

    Affiliation

    • Pediatrics

    Expertise

    • Diabetes and NASH

    Research Statement

    The PI leads The Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis Clinical Research Network (NASH CRN), a collaboration comprised of 8 clinical centers for adults, 8 pediatric centers and a Data Coordinating Center. The goal of this initiative is to recruit and chaarcterize children with NASH at Columbia University Medical Center in an ethnically and racially diverse area of New York City. Despite the consequence and prevalence of NASH in children, children are substantially underrepresented in clinical studies. The intent of this research is to identify shared determinants of NASH and hepatic insulin resistance, thereby establishing a mechanistic link between diabetes and alterations of hepatic lipid metabolism.

    Interest Group

    Global Health, Health Disparities, and Underserved Urban Populations

    Primary Core Use

    • TBAC

    Secondary Core Use

    • N/A

    Key Collaborations

    Pajvani, Leibel, Chung, Rosenbaum

  • Lin Qiao

    Associate Professor

    Affiliation

    • Mechanical Engineering

    Expertise

    • Glucose monitoring devices

    Research Statement

    Qiao Lin's research centers on micro/nanotechnologies as applied to biological sensing and manipulation, with an emphasis on controlling, sensing and characterizing biological systems by integrating microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) transducers with microfluidics. Such systems aim to allow sensitive and accurate analysis of biological systems in well-controlled micro- and nanoscale environments, thereby enabling new insights into fundamental biological phenomena and innovative capabilities for practical biomedical applications. In collaboration with Dr. Milan Stojanovic, The PI will seek to establish methods to sense glucoe concentrations in biologicla fluids, and to design glucose-sensitive insulin molecules. The PI is a past PF recipient. He went on to obtain two separate NIH grants to pursue his work.

    Interest Group

    Beta cell function and replacement, Integrated physiology

    Primary Core Use

    • MMTP

    Secondary Core Use

    • TBAC

    Key Collaborations

    Leibel, Stojanovic, Egli, Doege, Goland, Luchsinger

  • Lo James

    Assistant Professor of Medicine

    Affiliation

    • Medicine - Cardiology, Cornell

    Expertise

    • Beta cell biology

    Research Statement

    I am a physician-scientist at Weill Cornell Medical College heading a lab in the Metabolic Health Center investigating the fundamental mechanisms of cardiometabolic diseases. We aim to address key questions in cell, molecular and developmental biology while using metabolism as a model system. I have made key contributions by identifying a molecular link between inflammation and dyslipidemia. More recently I have identified a factor that helps to explain the link between obesity and pancreatic beta cell dysfunction in type 2 diabetes. The lab focuses on understanding the molecular regulators of adipose biology and function, pancreatic beta cell physiology, and interactions at the interface of inflammation and metabolic diseases. I was recently awarded a PF from the DRC. This award will be critical to establish my laboratory.

    Interest Group

    Beta cell function and replacement

    Primary Core Use

    • ATPI

    Secondary Core Use

    • MMTP

    Key Collaborations

    Accili, Mcgraw, Qiang, Egli, Doege

  • Luchsinger Jose

    Associate Professor

    Affiliation

    • Medicine-General Medicine

    Expertise

    • Diabetes and cognitive dysfunction

    Research Statement

    I have served as Director of the Northern Manhattan Center of Excellence in Minority Health and Health Disparities since 2009. Diabetes is the most important disease that we are trying to diagnose, prevent, and treat in this cohort of underserved urban minorities. I began my research career with a minority supplement award, a foundation career development award (New York Academy of Medicine), and a K08 mentored clinician researcher award from NIA (K08 AG20856).  I was a project leader in a P01 grant (AG07232), in the current P60 (P60 MD000206), and was a co-investigator in an Epidemiology and Biostatistics Core of  the P01 award. I have an R01 award from NIA (RO1 AG026413), an equivalent grant from the American Diabetes Association (7-08-CR-41), and I am the leader of the neurocognitive reading center of the landmark Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes study (2U01DK048404) in which I oversee training of staff and QA/QC activities in 26 sites in the USA. I was a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Irving Institute for Clinical Translational Research from 2007 to 2010 (1 UL1 RR024156-01).My interest in diabetes in intertwined with my interest in clinical outcomes in ethnically diverse, disadvantaged populations in the Northern Manhattan Community study, and in my work on insulin resistance and cognitive dysfunction. I have greatly enjoyed the opportunity to work with DRC faculty. I have used the full DRC technical and intellectual resources to obtain preliminary data for a study of the impact of metformin on cognitive function in an at-rick elderly population. And much of my thinking in this are has been affected by the exchanges and interaction with DRC faculty, including Drs. Accili, Ginsberg,  Shea, and Pi-Sunyer.

    Interest Group

    Global Health, Health Disparities, and Underserved Urban Populations

    Primary Core Use

    • TBAC

    Secondary Core Use

    • N/A

    Key Collaborations

    Accili, Ginsberg,  Shea, ad Pi-Sunyer

  • Lumey Lambert

    Professor of Epidemiology

    Affiliation

    • Mailman School of Public Health-Epidemiology

    Expertise

    • Undernutrition and risk of diabetes

    Research Statement

    Dr Lumey's research focus has been on the design and analysis of single and multi-generation cohort studies  to investigate the relation between  early fetal environment and adult health. These studies include but are not limited to men and women exposed to severe malnutrition during different periods in pregnancy at the end of World War II in the Netherlands. He has reported extensively on immediate and long term effects on morbidity and mortality, including the relation between nutrition in gestation and size at birth, adult body size, lipid profiles, glucose metabolism, and their relation to DNA methylation profiles.

    Interest Group

    Global health and disparities

    Primary Core Use

    • TBAC

    Secondary Core Use

    • N/A

    Key Collaborations

    Demmer, Desvarieux

  • Marks Andrew

    Clyde and Helen Wu Professor of Molecular Cardiology

    Affiliation

    • Physiology & Cellular Biophysics

    Expertise

    • Ryanodine receptors

    Research Statement

    The Marks lab is devoted to improving basic understandings of mechanisms that regulate calcium dependent signals including muscle contraction and cell growth. In particular the lab focuses on the structure/function relationships of ion channel macromolecular complexes including the ryanodine receptor/ calcium release channel (RyR) and the IP3 receptor. The lab employs a wide range of techniques including molecular and cell biology, confocal calcium imaging, structural biology, muscle physiology, and generates genetically altered animal models of human diseases to test hypotheses. This approach is responsible for the first drug eluting stent used to prevent coronary artery stent restenosis, and for a first-of-its-kind treatment for heart failure. Dr. Marks has extensively collaborated with DRC members Accili, Leibel, Goldberg, Tall, and Tabas, to understand basic signal transduction pathways by rapamycin, as well as the molecular basis for rapamycin resistance in diabetic patients that receive rapamycin-eluting stents. In his capacity as PI of a NHLBI training grant on basic cardiology, he is also a mentor to several trainees in the DRC who are interested in the interface between heart disease and diabetes, and a consultant to Core facilities and to the DRC leaders as a member of the DRC Internal Advisory Committee. more recently, his interests have included the role of ryanodine receptors in beta cell and insulin secretion. In this regard, he has also mentored a now K99 awardee, Dr. Gaetano Santulli.

    Interest Group

    Beta cell function and replacement, Integrated physiology

    Primary Core Use

    • MMTP

    Secondary Core Use

    • ATPI

    Key Collaborations

    Santulli, Ferrante, Karsenty, Tabas, Accili, Tall, Ginsberg

  • McGraw Timothy

    Professor of Cell Biology

    Affiliation

    • Cell Biology, Cornell University

    Expertise

    • Glucose transport

    Research Statement

    My lab studies insulin action in adipocytes, including its regulation of the trafficking of the GLUT4 glucose transporter, a process critical for control of blood glucose levels.  In addition, my studies metabolic alterations in turmor stroma cells, exploring the hypothesis that cells of the tumor microenvironment provide metabolic support for cancer cells. Obesity and insulin resistance are main risk factors for many cancers, although the mechanisms linking metabolic dysregulation and cancer are not understood.  Our work on the metabolism of stroma cells is therefore relevant to diabetes research. I have been fortunate to be a recipient of a DRC-sponsored ARRA PF project to do work outside my usual area of expertise, in which we try to idnetify the molecular signature of cancer metbaolism using primary tumor cells from patients undergoing treatment at Cornell Medical Center. The work have not been completed yet, but we are preparing manuscripts and grant applications based on the findings.

    Interest Group

    Integrated physiology

    Primary Core Use

    • MMTP

    Secondary Core Use

    • TBAC

    Key Collaborations

    Accili, Tabas, Karsenty

  • Mendelsohn Cathy

    Associate Professor of Genetics

    Affiliation

    • Genetics and Development

    Expertise

    • Retinoids in islet cell differentiation

    Research Statement

    We are working on a project looking at the roll of retinoids in islet cell differentiation during development.The long-term goal is to understand the genetic pathways that are important for b- cell formation and to investigate how islet cell progenitors are regulated.  Retinoids are important in IPS and ES cell cultures for differentiation of Pdx1 progenitors toward islet cell lineages, suggesting that Retinoic acid may normally be important for regulating progenitor differentiation. We have inhibited retinoid signaling in Pdx1 progenitors by expressing a dominant negative RA- receptor. We find that retinoid inhibition results in reduced numbers of insulin-expressing cells and increased numbers of glucagon-expressing cells. These studies will enable us to identify genetic pathways that regulate islet and beta cell formation, that may be useful for generating beta-cells in vitro that can be used in treating patients with diabetes.

    Interest Group

    Pancreas Development, B-Cell Function, And Cellular Replacement Therapies

    Primary Core Use

    • MMTP

    Secondary Core Use

    • ATPI

    Key Collaborations

    Blaner, Accili, Sussel

  • Ohlstein Benjamin

    Assistant Professor

    Affiliation

    • Department of Genetics, Columbia University

    Expertise

    • Drosophila genetics 

    Research Statement

    The goal of my work is to understand the regulation of intestinal stem cell specification (ISC) during Drosophila organogenesis. I became interested in diabetes because of the many functions of enteroendocrine cells and their potential therapeutic benefits. In our work we identified a novel type of niche that is used by midgut precursors to generate all the epithelia cells of the adult intestine, including enterocytes, enteroendocrine cells, and stem cells. I am currently funded by an NIDDK R01 grant to identify and characterize the intestinal stem cell niche in Drosophila by genetic means, study the role of nutrition on intestinal cell behavior, and identify genes required for enteroendocrine function. These studies will benefit from interactions with DRC scientists and could yield insight into diabetes pathophysiology and treatment.

    Interest Group

    Beta cell function and replacement

    Primary Core Use

    • ATPI

    Secondary Core Use

    • TBAC 

    Key Collaborations

    Sussel, Egli, Doege, Leibel, Accili

  • Ozcan Lale

    Assistant Professor of Medical Sciences

    Affiliation

    • Medicine-Molecular Med

    Expertise

    • Hepatic insulin action and Calmodulin Kinase

    Research Statement

    My earlier work elucidated a glucagon/endoplasmic reticulum stress pathway activated in obese liver, whose inhibition safely improves  hyperglycemia and insulin resistance in mouse models of obesity. Targeting an upstream molecule in the pathway in obese mice using a small organic compound has substantial metabolic benefit in a manner that is mechanistically "on-target" and, importantly, is additive with the current leading type 2 diabetes drug, metformin.  These studies led me to be awarded with two independent career development grants from American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association and also appeared as important publications in Cell Metabolism, Diabetes and Cell Reports, suggesting new targets for drug development in the area of type 2 diabetes.
    My current independent research focuses on mechanisms identifying the relationship(s) between insulin resistance and dyslipidemia, and investigations into exploring novel pathways that regulate adipose tissue biology in the setting of obesity.  I have an R01 from NIDDK and a research grant from Pfizer to support my studies on metabolic diseases and dyslipidemia, and I have strong collaborations with two experts in the above areas.  Thus, as a recently promoted tenure-track Assistant Professor and an early stage investigator, I have all the necessary resources needed for me to successfully accomplish this project. 

    Interest Group

    Integrated physiology >

    Primary Core Use

    • MMTP

    Secondary Core Use

    • CCS

    Key Collaborations

    Accili, Ferrante, Pajvani, Tabas, Tall, Haeusler, Leibel, Welch, Ginsberg

  • Pajvani Utpal

    Assistant Professor of Medicine

    Affiliation

    • Medicine- Endocrinology

    Expertise

    • Notch, insulin signaling and NASH

    Research Statement

    I am an early-career physician-scientist, interested in uncoupling obesity from its metabolic complications, by the discovery of novel, pharmacologically tractable pathways in the development and potential treatment of Type 2 Diabetes (T2D), non-alcoholic fatty liver/steatohepatitis (NAFLD/NASH) and dyslipidemia. This interest stems from both my clinical work with patients with T2D at the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at Columbia University, as well as over 15 years of basic and translational research to understand how obesity induces metabolic disease. During my graduate training with Philipp Scherer, we studied the role of adipocytes in regulation of whole-body glucose and lipid homeostasis through secretion of adiponectin. My subsequent post-doctoral work with Mimmo Accili was centered on integrative metabolism in liver, in how nutrient flux is regulated at the hormonal level and affected through cellular cross-talk.
    Although my clinical and laboratory training is in metabolic diseases, my work intersects fields of development, metabolism and cancer biology, by study of the Notch signaling pathway. The Notch family of transmembrane receptors has been traditionally thought to regulate normal development and then remain quiescent unless deregulated in cancer. Contrary to this notion, we found that Notch activity in liver is modulated by both physiologic (fasting/refeeding) and pathologic (insulin resistance) cues in mouse models of obesity. Further, genetic or pharmacologic inhibition of hepatocyte Notch activity abrogates obesity-induced glucose intolerance, and also somewhat unexpectedly, steatohepatitis and liver fibrosis, while mice with hepatocyte-specific Notch gain-of-function show exacerbated phenotypes. These remarkable data prompted a clinical survey in patients, which showed positive correlation between Notch activity and markers of insulin resistance and hepatic triglyceride content, but independent and strongest associations with biochemical and pathologic markers of NASH. We are now taking a bench-to-bedside approach, through collaborative efforts with a multi-disciplinary team of physician-scientists who care for patients with liver disease.

    Interest Group

    Integrated physiology 

    Primary Core Use

    • MMTP

    Secondary Core Use

    • CCS

    Key Collaborations

    Accili, Ginsberg, Leibel, Marks, Ozcan, Qiang, Lavine

  • Parker Dane

    Assistant Professor of Microbial Pathogenesis

    Affiliation

    • Pediatrics Infectious Disease

    Expertise

    • S.aureus infection and diabetes

    Research Statement

    I am interested in host-pathogen interactions, as well as common host innate immune pathways and cell types activated by bacterial pathogens. Recent work has taken me into an unexpected, diabetes-related direction that I intend to pursue, and for which I receoved a PF award. Examination of these pathways may lead to novel immunomodulary treatments for bacterial infections of the respiratory tract. Specifically, examining host innate immune receptors and their ability to sense various bacterial components initiating innate immune pathways as well as delineating the roles of various cell types in the lung in response to bacterial infections. My studies have utilized a number of animal models, cytokine analyses, cell biology and FACS to delineate the pathways and factors involved. For the past five years I have been focused on understanding the pathogenesis and host-pathogen response to Staphylococcus aureus. I plan to utilize my bacterial and cellular skills to continue my work understanding the mechanisms behind the role of hyperglycemia in maintaing S. aureus.

    Interest Group

    Integrated physiology

    Primary Core Use

    • PF recipient

    Secondary Core Use

    • MMTP

    Key Collaborations

    N/A

  • Pi-Sunyer F. Xavier

    Professor of Medicine

    Affiliation

    • Medicine- Endocrinology

    Expertise

    • Obesity; DPP-OS

    Research Statement

    I have been the director of the NIH-supported Columbia Diabetes Research Center Hormone and Metabolite Core Laboratory for 15 years. I am the Director of the Columbia University Obesity Research Center (CUORC), Professor of Medicine, and on the faculty of the Institute of Human Nutrition and the Division of Endocrinology, all at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.  I am Principal Investigator at the Columbia University Medical Center site for three NIH-sponsored multi-site clinical trials: the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study, the LookAhead Continuation Study, and the LifeMoms trial. I am the Co-PI of the NIH GRADE trial at the St. Luke’s Hospital site. I am on the Steering Committee of the 4 studies and co-Chair and on the Executive Committee of LookAhead. I am on the GRADE Protocol Oversight Committee and also on the GRADE Body Composition Ancillary Studies Committee. I have served as PI of the LookAhead  and DPPOS at the NYC site, and co-PI of LifeMoms and GRADE since their  initiation I have published over 400 articles on translational research on diabetes, obesity, and nutrition. My particular interest is the relationship between obesity and insulin resistance. I have been the PI on numerous pharmaceutical Phase 2 and 3 trials of drugs for obesity and diabetes. I have been PI of the T32 obesity post-doctoral training grant, which is presently up for renewal, since its initiation 25 years ago. I have mentored many PhD graduate student and post-doctoral fellows throughout my faculty career at Columbia. I have served on numerous NIH Study Sections, the FDA Science Advisory Committee, and the US Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee in 2005 and 2010. I have also served on a number of Institute of Medicine task-forces related to nutrition and obesity. I have been president of the American Diabetes Association, the American Society for Clinical Nutrition, and of the Obesity Society and a Counselor of the American Society of Experimental Biology and Medicine.

    Interest Group

    Integrated physiology, global health, health disparities, and underserved urban populations

    Primary Core Use

    • TBAC

    Secondary Core Use

    • N/A

    Key Collaborations

    Gallagher, Laferrere, Leibel, St.Onge, Kissileff, Wardlaw, Chung

  • Qiang Li

    Assistant Professor

    Affiliation

    • Pathology and Cell Biology

    Expertise

    • Pathology & Cell Biology Adipose tissue in Diabetes

    Research Statement

    My research delves into the adipose remodeling, the mechanism of nuclear receptor PPARγ activation, and the protein posttranslational modifications (PTMs) in regulating metabolic homeostasis. I have expertise in basic molecular mechanistic studies and integrated physiology of obesity, diabetes and their comorbidities including cardiovascular diseases and cancer. I have extensive experience identifying PTMs on important metabolic regulators, including PPARγ, FoxO1, CREB, p53 and Raptor, and investigating how PTMs fine-tune their activity. Since I started my laboratory in January, 2016, I have been actively interacting with my DRC colleagues and collaborators. As a result, I have published my first senior author paper. The PF has been extraordinarily helpful to jumpstart a new project related to treating diabetes with non-TZD Ppar agonists.

    Interest Group

    Integrated physiology

    Primary Core Use

    • MMTP

    Secondary Core Use

    • CCS

    Key Collaborations

    Accili, Welch, Pajvani, Ginsberg, Tall, Tabas, Ozcan

  • Reilly Muredach

    Professor of Medicine

    Affiliation

    • Medicine - Cardiology

    Expertise

    • Medicine - Cardiology

    Research Statement

    I am a cardiologist and Professor of Medicine at Columbia University, relocated from the University of Pennsylvania. I have expertise in clinical cardiovascular medicine, human genetics and functional genomics, clinical pharmacology, epidemiology and mechanistic translational research. In 2016, I relocated to Columbia from University of Pennsylvania. My Cardiometabolic Research Program is dedicated to translational and genomic studies and focuses on (1) novel mechanisms of human atherosclerosis underlying recent GWAS discoveries in human, (2) the role on innate immunity in promoting cardio-metabolic disease, (3) the functions of adipose tissue inflammation in insulin resistance and atherosclerotic risk, and (4) genomic and transcriptomic discovery in human cardio-metabolic disorders. My group employs a translational precision medicine approach including human functional genomics, human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) technology and gene editing, animal based mechanistic studies, patient-oriented interrogation as well as large scale epidemiological studies. I have a track record in mentoring, collaborating, assembling and overseeing multidisciplinary teams for execution of translational, genomic and laboratory heart disease research. At Columbia, as Director-designate of the Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, home of Columbia Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA), I will also build and extend programs in clinical and translational research as well as in genomics and precision medicine while continuing my research program in cardio-metabolic diseases. 

    Interest Group

    Diabetes dyslipidemia heart disease

    Primary Core Use

    • TBAC

    Secondary Core Use

    • N/A

    Key Collaborations

    Ginsberg, Tall, Korner, Laferrere, Luchsinger, Marks, Chung

  • Rosenbaum Michael

    Professor of Clinical Medicine

    Affiliation

    • Pediatrics

    Expertise

    • Childhood obesity

    Research Statement

    I foster collaborative research in the prevention of type 2 diabetes in children and the development of an understanding of body weight regulation in adults. I am the Principal Investigator in a large multi-site study of the effects of school-based intervention on clinical, behavioral, and biochemical risk factors for adiposity-related co- morbidities and Co-Prinicipal Investigator in studies of the behavioral and neuronal aspects of feeding behavior in adults. Specifically, our initial studies of body weight regulation examined energy output relative to body composition in lean and obese subjects following weight perturbation. Based on preliminary data demonstrating a metabolic “opposition” to reduced weight maintenance, we then expanded to include autonomic and neuroendocrine function as well as studies of whole body skeletal muscle ergometry.  We found that reduced weight maintenance was associated with significant increases in skeletal muscle work efficiency, delayed satiation, and changes in functional magnetic resonance imaging studies of subject responses to food that are consistent with observed delay in satiation and other alterations in energy intake behavior that occur as the result of weight loss. Our school-based studies of the pathophysiology and prevention of adiposity-related co-morbidities in children represent a multi- site project studying a multi-ethnic population of over 800 students. I have been the PI for this project, entitled Reduce Obesity and Diabetes (ROAD), and have supervised and participated directly in recruitment, administration, teaching (middle school students and physicians), laboratory, data analyses, and overall supervision of this project from its inception. This project has been an excellent training ground for young clinical investigators and has currently resulted in approximately 8 publications and over 30 abstract presentations, most of which have pediatric endocrine fellows as first authors. I have also mentored 2 junior faculty through internal research grants who have gone on to receive K awards on which I was also a mentor. Currently, I am working a total of 12 pediatric endocrine fellows on the ROAD project and 3 masters degree students who are doing their theses with me on the effects of exercise on skeletal muscle. I plan to continue working with co-investigators and to foster junior investigators through the DERC.

    Interest Group

    Integrated physiology, global health, health disparities, and underserved urban populations

    Primary Core Use

    • TBAC

    Secondary Core Use

    • N/A

    Key Collaborations

    Demmer, Desvarieux, Leibel, Wardlaw, Korner, Laferrere, Ginberg

  • Santulli Gaetano

    Associate Research Scientist

    Affiliation

    • Department of Physiology and Cell Biophysics

    Expertise

    • Ryanodine receptors

    Research Statement

    I am interested in understanding the funciton of ryanodine recpetors in beta cells,with the ultimate goal to use ryanodine recpeotr agonists as insulin secretatogues. I have received a K99 award from NIDDK, for which help of the MMTP DRC core was essential, as they performed hyperglycemic glucose clamps.

    Interest Group

    Beta cell function and replacement

    Primary Core Use

    • MMTP

    Secondary Core Use

    • ATPI

    Key Collaborations

    Marks, Ferrante, Ducy, Karsenty

  • Shapiro Lawrence

    Associate Professor, Ophthalmology, Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics

    Affiliation

    • Ophthalmology

    Expertise

    • AMPK, Adiponectin, protein structure

    Research Statement

    My lab has made its most important contributions in understanding the structural biology of hormones such as resistin and adiponectin, determined by X-ray crystallography, an area which requires significant expertise with proteins. My diabetes work has focused on protein identification by mass spectrometry, and now has expanded into comparative proteomics using differential in-gel electrophoresis techniques. My work has led to the determination of the structure of Adiponectin, Resistin, and AMPK. I have been involved in DRC activities from the outset, and have led a Core facility for nearly nine years. I plan to continue my involvement with the DRC, which is critical to translate my basic structural findings into clinically useful information.

    Interest Group

    Integrated physiology

    Primary Core Use

    • TBAC

    Secondary Core Use

    • N/A

    Key Collaborations

    Accili, Sussel, Lin, Ferrante

  • St-Onge Marie-Pierre

    Associate Professor of Nutritional Medicine

    Affiliation

    • Medicine- Endocrinology

    Expertise

    • Energy balance, dietary and behavioral interventions

    Research Statement

    The overall focus of Dr. St-Onge’s research is the study of the impact of various small dietary and behavioral changes on energy balance. Her main research interests include the study of lifestyle behaviors for body weight control and cardiovascular disease prevention. This includes examining the effects of functional foods or beverages and food components for weight management and cardiovascular disease risk prevention. Another major component of her research involves the study of the relationship between sleep and weight management and disease risk. Methods employed in Dr. St-Onge’s lab include indirect calorimetry (energy expenditure); magnetic resonance imaging, dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, and computed tomography (body composition); and functional magnetic resonance imaging (neuronal networks involved in appetite regulation).

    Interest Group

    Integrated physiology

    Primary Core Use

    • TBAC

    Secondary Core Use

    • N/A

    Key Collaborations

    Pi-Sunyer, Laferrere, Kissileff, Gallagher, Leibel, Rosenbaum

  • Stojanovic Milan

    Associate Professor of Medical Sciences

    Affiliation

    • Experimental therapeutics

    Expertise

    • Theranostic devices

    Research Statement

    My primary research interest is in the construction of autonomous therapeutic and diagnostic molecular devices based on nucleic acids.We have five related projects in our laboratory: (1) decision-making by molecules in solution; (2) development of molecular sensors; (3) recognition- triggered drug release; (4) movement of catalytic nanoassemblies on recognition surfaces; (5) development of the oligonucleotide-based zip codes for tissue-specific delivery. I have been involved with the DRC to apply my knowledge to the development of glucose sensors.

    Interest Group

    Beta cell function and replacement

    Primary Core Use

    • CCS

    Secondary Core Use

    • TBAC

    Key Collaborations

    Lin, Harris

  • Sui Lina

    Senior Research Associate

    Affiliation

    • Pathology & Cell Biology

    Expertise

    • Stem cells and diabetes

    Research Statement

    We investigate the molecular mechanisms of beta cell failure in monogenetic forms of diabetes, in particular of HNF1alpha. Our working hypothesis is that stem cells can reflect disease relevant phenotypes after in vitro differentiation and transplantation into mice. Though monogenetic forms of diabetes are relatively rare (1-5% of all diabetics), they provide a starting point to test the utility of stem cells for the modeling of diabetes. Loss of function mutations of HNF1A causes diabetes through haploinsufficiency, but the exact mechanisms are not understood. We have been able to differentiate homozygous HNF1a mutant iPS cells into insulin-producing stem cell-derived (sc) beta-like cells. HNF1a is not required for differentiation of sc-beta cells (not shown). Basal insulin secretion was reduced, but insulin content was increased. This suggests a defect in either the processing or the secretion of insulin or both. To better understand these defects, we are now performing gene expression and electrophysiological analyses. My future work will focus on sc beta cells as a tool for cellular replacement therapies. I have received a DRC PF grant that has been instrumental to launching my own research lab.

    Interest Group

    Beta cell function and replacement

    Primary Core Use

    • ATPI 

    Secondary Core Use

    • MMTP

    Key Collaborations

    Egli, Creusot, Egli, Accili, Sykes, Doege, Goland

  • Sykes Megan

    Director, Columbia Center for Translational Immunology

    Affiliation

    • Medicine, Immunology

    Expertise

    • Transplant tolerance

    Research Statement

    Our research is in the areas of hematopoietic cell transplantation, achievement of graft-versus- leukemia effects without GVHD, organ allograft tolerance induction and xenotransplantation.My research program aims to utilize bone marrow transplantation as immunotherapy to achieve graft- versus-tumor effects while avoiding the common complication of such transplants, graft-versus- host disease. Our laboratory studies in this area have led to novel approaches that have been evaluated in clinical trials. Another major area has been to utilize bone marrow transplantation for the induction of transplantation tolerance, both to organs from the same species (allografts) and from other species (xenografts). Our laboratory has worked toward the development of clinically feasible, non-toxic methods of re-educating the T cell, B cell and NK cell components of the immune system to accept allografts and xenografts without requiring long-term immunosuppressive therapy. Our work has also extended into the area of xenogeneic thymic transplantation as an approach to tolerance induction, and into the mechanisms by which non- myeloablative induction of mixed chimerism reverses the autoimmunity of Type 1 diabetes.

    Interest Group

    Beta cell function and replacement

    Primary Core Use

    • CCS

    Secondary Core Use

    • ATPI

    Key Collaborations

    Goland, Christiano, Sussel, Egli, Creusot

  • Tabas Ira

    Richard J. Stock Professor of Medicine Immunology

    Affiliation

    • Medicine-Molecular Medicine

    Expertise

    • Inflammation and atherosclerosis

    Research Statement

    I direct a basic and translational research laboratory studying the cellular and molecular basis of interaction between atherosclerosis and diabetes. In recent years, our diabetes-related interests have evolved to include studies of atherosclerotic plaque progression in diabetes models, and studies of the mechanism of calcium-dependent regulation of hepatic glucose production. With regard to plaque studies, we have focused on mechanisms of plaque necrosis focused on ER stress-induced macrophage apoptosis and defective efferocytosis. Moreover, we have studied physiologic, cellular, and molecular links to obesity and insulin resistance related to both macrophage apoptosis and liver-derived metabolic disturbances and dyslipidemia. We have developed tools to interrogate in-depth molecular and cellular mechanisms using cultured primary macrophages and primary hepatocytes and to test relevance and causation in vivo through the use of genetically altered mice, including the Cre-lox conditional knockout system. My laboratory has worked in the lesional macrophage field for >15 years and has gained a high level of conceptual and technical expertise in this area. With support from the Columbia DRC, we have made the transition to liver studies, and we are poised to make a contribution to this important area of public health.

    Interest Group

    Diabetes, Dyslipidemia, And Heart Disease

    Primary Core Use

    • CCS

    Secondary Core Use

    • MMTP

    Key Collaborations

    Accili, Ozcan, Ferrante, Tall, Ginsberg

  • Tall Alan

    Tilden-Weger-Bieler Professor of Medicine

    Affiliation

    • Medicine-Molecular Medicine

    Expertise

    • Lipoproteins, atherosclerosis

    Research Statement

    The laboratory is carrying out research on the molecular mechanisms responsible for human diseases. The approach is to use molecular, genomic and cellular approaches to investigate basic aspects of the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. A major focus is on molecular mechanisms of cellular cholesterol efflux, mediated by the interaction of extracellular apoA-I with the lipid transporter ABCA1. We are carrying out studies on the transcriptional regulation of ABCA1 gene expression, and regulation of the degradation of ABCA1 protein. This has led to the elucidation of a class of transcription factors (LXRs) that co-ordinately regulate cellular cholesterol efflux and reverse cholesterol transport. We nejoy extensive interactions with DRC members Accili, Ferrante, Ginsberg, Deckelbaum, Goldberg, Tabas, Welch, and others. We use many Core facilities, participate in the enrichment program, and intend to continue to do so.

    Interest Group

    Diabetes, Dyslipidemia, And Heart Disease

    Primary Core Use

    • CCS

    Secondary Core Use

    • MMTP

    Key Collaborations

    Welch, Tabas, Accili, Goldberg, Ginsberg, Ganda

  • Wardlaw Sharon

    Atkins Professor of Medicine

    Affiliation

    • Medicine-Endocrinology

    Expertise

    • Neuroendocrinology

    Research Statement

    We study the hypothalamic regulation of energy homeostasis. This project focuses on the melanocortin neuropeptide system which plays a key role in regulating appetite and body weight and is an important target for leptin in the hypothalamus. Studies center on the regulation of proopiomelanocortin (POMC) and the POMC-derived peptides, a-MSH, g-MSH and ß-EP, together with the newly discovered agouti related protein (AGRP). Ongoing studies are examining the regulation of POMC and AGRP gene expression, peptide processing and peptide release in the rat hypothalamus by both leptin and insulin as well as interactions between the POMC and AGRP neurons themselves which both express melanocortin receptors. The role of leptin in the regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is also being studied. The HPA axis plays a key role in energy homeostasis and is intricately related to the obesity syndromes in leptin deficient animals. Transgenic mice which overexpress a-MSH and g-MSH have also been developed to further understand the role that these neuropeptides play in modulating feeding behavior, metabolic and endocrine responses. Current studies are focusing on the modulation of peripheral insulin sensitivity by the hypothalamic melanocortin system.

    Interest Group

    Integrated physiology

    Primary Core Use

    • MMTP

    Secondary Core Use

    • ATPI

    Key Collaborations

    Accili, Rosenbaum, Leibel, Egli, Chung

  • Wei Ying

    Associate Professor of Biostatistics

    Affiliation

    • Mailman School of Public Health - Epidemiology

    Expertise

    • Statistical and computational support

    Research Statement

    My substantive area of research is quantile regression, longitudinal data analysis and semi-parametric modeling, with a special focus on their applications in medical, clinical and public health studies.  I have served as principal investigator on six statistical methodology grants funded by NSF and NIH. For my contributions in biostatistical methodology development, I received Noether Young Scholar award from American Statistical Association in 2011, and was elected as the Fellow of the American Statistical Association in 2015.  I have over 12 years collaboration experiences with researchers in Cancer, HIV, Bioinformatics and Genetics, including
    over 5 years experiences in handling big data applications such Electronic Medical Records, and Genome-wide Genomic data.

    Interest Group

    Diabetes dyslipidemia heart disease

    Primary Core Use

    • N/A

    Secondary Core Use

    • N/A

    Key Collaborations

    Accili, Tabas, Tall, Welch

  • Welch Carrie

    Assistant Professor of Medical Sciences

    Affiliation

    • Medicine-Molecular Medicine

    Expertise

    • Genetics of complex disorders, atherosclerosis

    Research Statement

    Acute complications of atherosclerosis greatly impact morbidity in Western civilizations, especially intertwined with diabetes. We are using a variety of mouse genetics approaches to identify new genes and pathways involved in atherosclerosis. In collaboration with Drs. Accili, Tall and Tabas, we are investigating the role of insulin resistance in atherogenesis. In an independent study, we identified a novel atherosclerosis susceptibility locus on chromosome 4 that overlaps the region of homology with a widely-replicated human CAD susceptibility locus on chromosome 9p21. We have demonstrated that haplo-insufficiency of a candidate disease gene residing in the locus, Cdkn2a (an inhibitor of cell proliferation), results in accelerated atherosclerosis. Gene expression of Cdkn2a is down-regulated in macrophages, an important cell mediator of atherosclerotic lesion development, and results in increased cell proliferation. It will be of interest to determine whether the diabetic condition intensifies this effect.

    Interest Group

    Diabetes, Dyslipidemia, And Heart Disease

    Primary Core Use

    • MMTP

    Secondary Core Use

    • CCSI

    Key Collaborations

    Accili, Tall, Tabas, Chung, Pajvani, Ozcan

  • Widen Elizabeth

    Associate Research Scientist

    Affiliation

    • Medicine- Endocrinology

    Expertise

    • Pregnancy and weight gain

    Research Statement

    I am a nutrition epidemiologist and my research aims to improve health and livelihood of mothers and their children, locally and globally. The goal of my research is to develop and apply advanced analytic methods and interdisciplinary approaches to rigorously evaluate the role of nutrition during the first 1,000 days of life on short- and long-term health. My research applies an interdisciplinary life course approach to the intersection of nutrition sciences with reproductive, perinatal, pediatric and infectious disease epidemiology. Three complementary themes underlie my research program: 1) the role of nutrition during pregnancy and lactation on short- and long-term maternal and child health; 2) the interrelationships between maternal and infant nutrition; and 3) developing and evaluating interventions to improve maternal and child health. I explore these themes primarily in the 1,000 days in various contexts including HIV-infected, uninfected and exposed populations in Sub-Saharan African, and among mothers and their infants in New York City. Ultimately, I seek to improve the health and livelihood of mothers and their children. My research program has the potential to make a substantial impact and advance the fields of maternal and child health, body composition, and the developmental origins of adult disease.

    Interest Group

    Global health and disparities

    Primary Core Use

    • TBAC

    Secondary Core Use

    • N/A

    Key Collaborations

    Gallagher, Pi-Sunyer

  • Zhang Yiying

    Research Scientist

    Affiliation

    • Pediatrics-Molecular Genetics

    Expertise

    • Obesity, fat cell biology

    Research Statement

    We are interested in the regulation of LEPR trafficking and signaling by bioactive lipid molecules and cytokines. Impaired leptin signaling is an important contributor to the impaired energy homeostasis and glucose metabolism in obesity.  Cell surface expression of the leptin receptor (LEPR) is tightly regulated and is an important determinant of leptin signaling activity. We have shown that TNF-alpha and bioactive lipids, including ceramide and cholesterol, have profound effects on cell surface expression level and signaling activity of LEPR. The focus of their current studies is to delineate the molecular mechanisms by which these molecules regulate LEPR trafficking and signaling. This work is of possible relevance to the studies being pursued with regard to the roles of the primary cilium in leptin signaling and to cellular mechanism of leptin resistance.

    Interest Group

    Integrated physiology

    Primary Core Use

    • MMTP

    Secondary Core Use

    • CCS

    Key Collaborations

    Leibel, Small, Qiang, Ferrante, Chung, Rosenbaum, Accili

  • Zuker Charles

    Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics

    Affiliation

    • Department of Biochemistry

    Expertise

    • Taste receptors

    Research Statement

    We use a combined molecular, genetic, and physiological approach to study signal processing, information transfer, and coding mechanisms in sensory systems, in particular photoreceptors, mechanoreceptors, and taste receptors. My interest in DRC activities is to investigate the role of taste recpetors in metabolic regulation. To this end, I plan to have extensive interactions with DRC faculty and to utilize the four Cores.

    Interest Group

    Integrated physiology

    Primary Core Use

    • MMTP

    Secondary Core Use

    • ATPI

    Key Collaborations

    Leibel, Egli, Doege