Rexford S. Ahima, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
Director of Obesity Unit, Institute for Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism
Director of Diabetes Research Center Mouse Phenotyping Core
Office: 12-104 TRC, Translational Research Center
Dr. Ahima is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He received a BSc degree from the University of London, MD from the University of Ghana, PhD from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, and internship and residency in internal medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Jack D. Weiler Hospital and Jacobi Medical Center, in New York. He then moved to the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School in Boston, for subspecialty training in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, and postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Dr. Jeffrey Flier.
Dr. Ahima served as Instructor in Medicine at Harvard prior to moving to Penn in 1999. He received an Owl Club Teaching Award at Tulane University School of Medicine, Leo Davidoff Award at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Pfizer Postdoctoral Award at Harvard Medical School, and the Albert Stunkard Founder's Award at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Ahima was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 2005, and the Association of American Physicians in 2010. He has served as a reviewer for the National Institutes of Health, Wellcome Foundation of the United Kingdom, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and as a member of the board of scientific counselors of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Dr. Ahima is a past associate editor of Gastroenterology, and the Journal of Clinical Investigation, and currently an editor of the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences Year in Diabetes and Obesity.
Dr. Ahima's research is focused on the central and peripheral regulation of energy homeostasis, and glucose and lipid metabolism. He is interested in how adipocyte hormones, such as leptin, adiponectin and resistin, act in the brain and other organs. These studies which have important implications for the pathophysiology of obesity and diabetes, involve the use of transgenic mice, chemical and immunoassays, in vivo metabolic measurements, neurochemistry, and tissue culture techniques.
Dr. Ahima has a clinical interest in obesity and associated metabolic diseases. He is the director of Obesity Unit of the Institute for Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, and the director of the Penn Diabetes Research Center Mouse Phenotyping Core, which offers diagnostic testing for diabetes and obesity research in rodent models.