Current Projects in the Lab

Regulation of Lipid and Glycogen Synthesis

The mechanisms by which nutrient and hormonal signals regulate the storage and breakdown triglycerides and glycogen are still not completely understood. We are interested in the molecular mechanisms which control lipid and glycogen levels in muscle, liver and adipose tissue. We are particularly interested in the mechanisms by which insulin and amino acids modulate glycogen and lipid synthesis.

Neuroendocrine Regulation of Metabolism

Obesity, NAFLD Insulin resistance can be caused by several factors including obesity and inflammation. One of the more fascinating aspects of this physiology is how these phenotypes involve substantial communication between tissues, and the brain. We are working on how several hormones, including insulin and GDF15 communicate from the body the brain, and how other hormones under neuronal control (BDNF, cortisol and growth hormone) affect the periphery.

The Role of the TORC1 Complex in Aging

The Target of Rapamycin Complex I has been implicated in the regulation of aging and lifespan in many eukaryotic organisms ranging from yeast to humans. We are interested in how aberrant nutrient sensing, and TORC1 in specific, causes delayed or accelerated aging in model organisms.

Regulation of Mammary Physiology

How does the mammary gland respond to nutritional, and physiological signals from the mother and child. We have been investigating this in collaboration with the Gregg Lab in the Departments of Pediatrics and Nutritional Sciences using both mouse and human models.