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

For questions concerning program content, contact:

Chris Lynch, Ph.D.
Director, Office of Nutrition Research
Phone:  (301) 827-3988
Email: christopher.lynch@nih.gov

For questions concerning meeting logistics and registration, contact:

Lauren Meskill
Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition
Email:  MeskillL@extra.niddk.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

May 25, 2017 or until full; This meeting will also be available via videocast.

RSVP to Lauren Meskill via email with your name, affiliation and phone number​​​​.


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. – 9:15 a.m. Welcome from NIH, Overview of Meeting Goals
9:15 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Introduction/Overview of Morning Session
Chris Lynch
9:30 a.m. – 9:55 a.m. BCAA Metabolism
Brendan Lee, M.D., Ph.D., Baylor College of Medicine
9:55 a.m. – 10:20 a.m. BCAA Signaling Via mTOR
10:20 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Break
10:30 a.m. – 10:55 a.m. BCAA and Protein Turnover
Scot Kimball, Penn State
10:55 a.m. – 11:20 a.m. Novel Function of BCAA Metabolite in Insulin Resistance
Arany Zoltan, U Penn
11:20 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. HMB Mechanism of Action
Jeffrey H. Baxter, Ph.D., Discovery R&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
1:30 p.m. – 1:55 p.m. Obesity
Christopher Newgard, Duke
1:55 p.m.. – 2:15 p.m. BCAA Catabolism and Insulin Resistance
Mary-Elizabeth Patti, Harvard
2:15 p.m. – 2:40 p.m. BCAA Flux: A Novel Mechanism and Therapeutic Target for Diabetes
Haipeng Sun, UCLA JTUSOM
2:40 p.m. – 2:50 p.m. Break
2:50 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. BCAA Catabolic Defects in Heart Failure and Cardioprotection
Rong Tian, University of Washington
3:15 p.m. – 3:40 p.m. BCCA and Chronic Disease
3:40 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Session II Panel Discussion
4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Poster and Reception

May 26, 2017

7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Breakfast on own

Session III

BCAA as Therapy

9:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. Introduction/Overview of Session
Tracy Anthony
9:15 a.m. – 9:40 a.m. Sarcopenia of Aging
Blake Rasmussen UTMB
9:40 a.m. – 10:05 a.m. Neonatal Growth
Theresa Davis, Baylor College of Medicine
10:05 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Branched Chain Amino Acids and Exercise Performance
Stuart Phillips, McMaster University
10:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Coffee Break
10:45 a.m. – 11:10 a.m. Recovery from Catabolic Injury
Elizabet Borsheim, Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center
11:10 a.m. – 11:35 a.m. TBD
Stefan Pasiakos, US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (USARIEM)
11:35 a.m. – 11:55 a.m. Session III Panel Discussion
11:55 p.m. – 12:00 p.m. Conclusion Remarks
Chris Lynch
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch and working group business meeting 2 (Knowledge and Infrastructure Gap)


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.


Abstracts are currently unavailable.


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



For questions concerning program content, contact:

Chris Lynch, Ph.D.
Director, Office of Nutrition Research
Phone:  (301) 827-3988
Email: christopher.lynch@nih.gov

For questions concerning meeting logistics and registration, contact:

Lauren Meskill
Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition
Email:  MeskillL@extra.niddk.nih.gov