U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Emerging Role of Branched-Chain Amino Acids in Human Diseases

5/25/2017 12:00 AM
5/26/2017 12:00 AM

Program Content

Chris Lynch, Ph.D.
Director, Office of Nutrition Research
T:  301-827-3988
E: christopher.lynch@nih.gov

Meeting Logistics

Kimberly Barch
Office of Nutrition Research
E: Kimberly.barch@nih.gov
Building 31/6C

Event Details


The branched chain amino acids (BCAA) leucine, isoleucine and valine are essential nutrients, required for normal growth and protein balance. Cellular sensing of BCAAs (e.g., leucine) and their metabolites alters signal transduction cascades to regulate metabolism and gene expression. Recent advancements have implicated BCAAs as an important and integral nutritional factor and biomarker in major health domains (performance, body mass, satiety) and human diseases (metabolic disorders, cancer, sarcopenia, along with neurological and cardiovascular diseases). The purpose of this conference is to identify opportunities and gaps in the field in order to promote multi-disciplinary research on BCAA actions and metabolism over a broad spectrum of human health and disease.

Meeting Objectives

With the recent plethora of high impact papers getting attention from the public and private sectors, the field is ready for a major update on BCAA metabolism. A deeper understanding of the regulation of BCAA inter-organ and intracellular metabolism could reveal new therapeutic targets to promote health, treat disease and/or improve the lifespan. The conference will help identify key gaps in our current knowledge and infrastructure, from which a published report would be expected to emerge.

Organizing Committee

Tracy Anthony, Ph.D., Rutgers University
Yibin Wang, Ph.D., UCLA
Christopher Lynch, Ph.D., Office of Nutrition Research, NIDDK, NIH
Abby G. Ershow, Sc.D., R.D., FAHA, Office of Dietary Supplements, NIH
Rebecca B. Costello, Ph.D., Office of Dietary Supplements, NIH
Daniel J. Raiten, Ph.D., NICHD, NIH
Jonathan Scott, Ph.D., R.D., Consortium for Health and Military Performance (CHAMP)

Registration Deadline

In-person and webcast registration for this workshop is CLOSED.​​


May 25, 2017

7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Arrival and Registration

Session I

BCAA Mechanisms – What is Known, What are the Knowledge Gaps

9:00 a.m. – 9:20 a.m. Introduction/Overview of Morning Session
Christopher Lynch, Ph.D., ONR
9:20 a.m. – 9:55 a.m. BCAA Metabolism: Lessons from Inborn Errors of Metabolism
Brendan Lee, M.D., Ph.D., Baylor College of Medicine
9:55 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. BCAA Regulation of mTORC1; Targeting the Cellular Leucine Sensor for a New Generation of Therapeutics
Shomit Sengupta, Ph.D., Navitor Pharmaceuticals
10:30 a.m. – 10:40 a.m. Welcome
Griffin P. Rodgers, M.D., M.A.C.P., Director, NIDDK
10:40 a.m. – 10:50 a.m. Break
10:40 a.m. – 11:25 a.m. BCAA and Protein Turnover
Scot Kimball, Ph.D., Penn State College of Medicine
11:25 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Role of HMB in attenuating muscle loss
Suzette L Pereira, Ph.D., Abbott Nutrition
11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Session I Panel Discussion
12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. Lunch and working group business meeting 1 (Knowledge and Infrastructure Gap)

Session II

BCAA in Disease

1:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Introduction/Overview of Session
Yibin Wang, Ph.D., UCLA
1:30 p.m. – 2:05 p.m. Translating BCAA signatures of cardiometabolic diseases to underlying mechanisms
Christopher Newgard, Ph.D., Duke University School of Medicine
2:05 p.m. – 2:40 p.m. BCAA Catabolism and Insulin Resistance
Mary-Elizabeth Patti, M.D., Joslin Diabetes Center
2:40 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. BCAA Flux: A Novel Mechanism and Therapeutic Target for Diabetes
Haipeng Sun, Ph.D., UCLA JTUSOM
3:15 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Break
3:30 p.m. – 4:05 p.m. BCAA Catabolic Defects in Heart Failure and Cardioprotection
Rong Tian, M.D., Ph.D. University of Washington
4:05 p.m. – 4:40 p.m. Novel Function of BCAA Metabolite in Insulin Resistance
Zoltan Arany, M.D. Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
4:40 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. Adaptability to exercise training and energy metabolism during exercise in mice with muscle-specific deletion of BDK
Yoshiharu Shimomura, Ph.D., Nagoya University, Japan
5:15 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Session II Panel Discussion
6:30 p.m. – Dinner and working group business meeting 2 (BCAA in Disease Knowledge and Infrastructure Gaps)

May 26, 2017

7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Breakfast on own

Session III

BCAA as Therapy

8:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. Introduction/Overview of Session
Tracy Anthony, Ph.D., Rutgers University
8:45 a.m. – 9:20 a.m. BCAA and Neonatal Growth
Teresa Davis, Ph.D., Baylor College of Medicine
9:20 a.m. – 9:55 a.m. Sarcopenia of Aging
Blake Rasmussen, Ph.D., University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
9:55 a.m. – 10:05 a.m. Break
10:05 a.m. – 10:40 a.m. Branched-chain Amino Acids in Exercise
Stuart Phillips, Ph.D., McMaster University
10:40 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. BCAA and Recovery from Catabolic Injury
Elisabet Børsheim, Ph.D., Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center
11:15 a.m. – 11:50 a.m. BCAA in Military Performance and Maintenance of Lean Body Mass
Stefan Pasiakos, Ph.D., US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (USARIEM)
11:50 a.m. – 12:05 a.m. Session III Panel Discussion
12:05 p.m. – 12:15 p.m. Concluding Remarks
Christopher Lynch, Ph.D., ONR
12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. Lunch and working group business meeting 3 (BCAA as Therapy Knowledge and Infrastructure Gaps)


Hotel Accommodations

Bethesda Marriott Hotel
5151 Pooks Hill Road
Bethesda, MD  20814
Phone:  (301) 897-9400 or (800) 228-9290

Website:  http://www.bethesdamarriott.com
(More hotel information can be obtained from this website.)

Please be advised that meeting attendees are responsible for their own travel arrangements and costs.

Government Room Rate

A limited block of 100 sleeping rooms for meeting participants has been reserved at the Bethesda Marriott Hotel. The rate is the prevailing government rate of $195 per night for single occupancy, plus tax (13%). To reserve a hotel room at the group rate, call reservations at (800) 228-9290 or (301) 897-9400 and identify yourself as a member of the NIH-Division of Digestive Diseases Meeting or click on the link to book your group rate for NIH-Division of Digestive Diseases Meeting. The room block will be in effect at the Government rate only until Wednesday, April 26, 2017, or until full, whichever comes first. Any room reservations received after this date will be accepted on a space and rate-availability basis.

Reservation Dates

Book arrival on Wednesday, May 24, 2017, and departure on Friday, May 26, 2017.


Please be certain that the hotel provides you with a confirmation number for your reservation. After April 26, 2017, the official room block will be released, and the hotel may charge significantly higher rates and may be sold out. When making a reservation, please provide your room and bedding preferences. The hotel will assign specific room types at check-in, based on availability. Please be advised that requests are not guaranteed. Check-in time is 4:00 p.m., and checkout time is 12:00 p.m.


If you need to cancel your reservation, please do so by 4:00 p.m. on the day prior to arrival, or you will be charged a no-show fee for 1 night on your credit card.

NIH Visitor Information 

Information on visiting the NIH, campus maps, shuttle schedules, driving directions, security, and more can be found on the NIH Visitor Information page.​


Minutes are currently unavailable.


Attendees are currently unavailable.


Submission Deadline

May 5, 2017

Submitting Abstracts

(Students, Postdoctoral Fellows/Junior Faculty Only)

We had hoped to have posters boards available during the meeting but there is no room at the venue for them unfortunately. Nevertheless we invite you to provide an abstract (perhaps from a recent meeting or paper) describing one of your recent projects to be shared at the meeting in the program. This could facilitate collaboration opportunities for meeting attendees. Abstracts should be limited to one page. Include a title, all authors (presenting author should be clearly underlined), departmental affiliation, university, city, state/province, country, zip code/postal code, and email address, along with sufficient experimental detail to assess the relevance of the work. Please acknowledge appropriate funding sources for your research. Inclusion of figures is encouraged.

Please send your abstract to Kimberly Barch (kimberly.barch@nih.gov).

Deadline for submission is May 5th. You will be notified if your abstract has been accepted to present.


  • Conference Room 6
  • 31 Center Drive, NIH Campus
  • MD 20892



Program Content

Chris Lynch, Ph.D.
Director, Office of Nutrition Research
T:  301-827-3988
E: christopher.lynch@nih.gov

Meeting Logistics

Kimberly Barch
Office of Nutrition Research
E: Kimberly.barch@nih.gov