As the senior advisor for integrative metabolism, I am responsible for managing a research portfolio focused on life-sustaining chemical transformations within cells. Grants under this portfolio examine intermediary metabolism and physiology at the whole-body, organ, and cellular levels—particularly as they pertain to energy metabolism in diabetes, obesity, and chronic metabolic disease. I serve as director for the Metabolism, Energy Balance, and Obesity program and manage a portfolio of studies that aim to understand insulin and leptin resistance, regulation of gluconeogenesis, glycogen metabolism and glucose disposal, protein turnover rate and regulation, cellular and whole-body lipid fluxes, the interaction between carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, metabolism and inter-organ signaling roles of specific lipids, measurement and regulation of thermogenesis, and other processes.
I direct programs studying functional and molecular imaging. As such, I manage a portfolio of projects that employ imaging or spectroscopic techniques to visualize various aspects of diabetes and obesity, endocrinology, metabolism, and metabolic diseases. The program includes studies that focus on imaging pancreatic beta cell mass, perfusion, angiogenesis, inflammation, and function; peripheral vascular or nerve function in diabetes; inflammation in fat, skeletal muscle, and liver in obesity; mass and function of human brown adipose tissue; and indices of insulin resistance. In the context of obesity research, the program supports neuroimaging studies to examine how the brain influences eating and energy regulation. I also serve as project scientist for the Mouse Metabolic Phenotyping Centers, which offer a range of tests that elucidate subtle to complex traits that characterize models of metabolic disease on a fee-for-service basis.