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Padma Maruvada, Ph.D.

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Nutrient Metabolism; Clinical Obesity and Nutrition

Responsibilities & Activities

As the director of Nutrient Metabolism program, I manage a grants portfolio that investigates the role of nutrients on various biological processes at the whole body, tissue and cellular level, and how various nutrient transporters and their function impact nutrient absorption in the gastrointestinal tract. I serve as the director of the Clinical Obesity and Nutrition program that supports clinical studies focused on the impact of nutrients and dietary components, on nutritional deficiency conditions and nutritional status, and research projects that explore parenteral and enteral nutritional needs of the critical care patients, and individuals with gastrointestinal diseases. This program also supports obesity related grants that investigate how the dietary interventions such as reduced food intake, altered in diet composition and dietary patterns impact appetite regulation, satiety and related hormonal excursion, gastric peptides, energy expenditure, energy balance, body weight and obesity. In addition, this program supports grants that study the impact of physical activity, and bariatric surgical approaches on weight gain, adiposity, and obesity.

I also manage a grants portfolio that employs omics approaches for nutrition research, and focus on the impact of dietary interventions on intestinal physiology (transporters), barrier function, nutrient sensing in the gut and transmission of signals to extra- intestinal organs and tissues, circadian changes that impact nutrient metabolism, interaction/competition between various nutrients and drugs. Also, relevant in this portfolio are projects that explore the discovery and development of biomarkers of nutrient intake, exposure, and status. Microbiome research in my portfolio focuses on the impact of dietary interventions on microbiome composition, gut physiology, barrier function, microbiome-gut-brain axis, identification of microbial metabolites, microbiome induced inflammation, impact of prebiotics and resistant starches, probiotics and secreted probiotic factors on microbial communities, and the influence of breast milk sugars and other bioactive components on microbial colonization and maturation, intestinal function and host metabolism, and other interventions that alter microbiota and impact energy metabolism, adiposity and body weight.

In addition, I am also involved trans-NIH Common Fund-supported programs. I serve as the program director for the Metabolomics program that focuses on increasing the national capacity for metabolomics methodologies for biomedical research. I managed Regional Comprehensive Metabolomics Research Cores and Data Repository and Coordination Center for this program. I also serve as the Program Director for the Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity program that supports the development of a molecular map of the molecules affected by physical activity in humans and animals, to investigate the role of exercise human health and disease. I manage Chemical Analysis Sites that are funded to perform the omics analysis of the bio-specimens collected in the MoTrPAC program.

Research Programs

Clinical & Epidemiological Nutrition Research
Clinical and epidemiological research in nutrition.

Clinical, Behavioral, & Epidemiological Obesity Research
Clinical, behavioral, and epidemiological research in obesity.

Gastrointestinal Microbiology & Infectious Diseases
Research on the gut microbiota, pathogenic organisms that reside in the gastrointestinal tract.

Gastrointestinal Physiology, Development, & Epithelial Biology
Basic, clinical, and translational research on GI development, diseases, and disorders.

Metabolism, Energy Balance & Obesity
Basic and clinical studies related to energy balance and physiological mechanisms modulating weight gain, loss and maintenance.

Committees & Working Groups

  • NIH Obesity Task Force, Member
  • NIH Nutrition Research Task Force, Member
  • NIH Office of Dietary Supplements, NIDDK Liaison
  • Common Fund Metabolomics Program, Member and Program Director for Regional Comprehensive Metabolomics Cores
  • Common Fund Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity, Member and Program Director for Chemical Analysis Sites
  • Trans NIH Microbiome Working Group, Member
  • Nutrition Coordination Committee, Member