faculty photo

Rexford Sefah Ahima

Professor of Medicine
Department: Medicine

Contact information
Department of Medicine
Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism
12-104 Translational Research Center
3400 Civic Center Boulevard, Building 421
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6149
Office: (215) 573-1872
Fax: 215-746-8931
Lab: (215) 573-1874
B.Sc. (Endocrinology)
University of London, 1981.
University of Ghana Medical School, 1986.
Ph.D (Neuroscience)
Tulane University, New Orleans, LA, 1992.
Permanent link

Description of Research Expertise

Research Interests:
CNS targets of adipokines
Adipokine regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism
Role of lipid droplet proteins in steatosis and glucose metabolism
Role of myokines in glucose and lipid metabolism

Key words:Brain, adipokine, neuroendocrine, insulin, neuropeptide, obesity, diabetes.

Description of Research:
My laboratory is interested in the central and peripheral actions of adipokines. Contrary to the prevailing view of the adipocyte as merely a specialized cell for the storage of excess energy in the form of triglycerides, adipokines secreted by adipose tissue are actively involved in energy homeostasis, and glucose and lipid metabolism. Leptin and adiponectin enhance fat oxidation and insulin sensitivity, whereas resistin induces insulin resistance, steatosis and inflammation. Understanding the biology of adipokines provides valuable insights into the pathogenesis and potential treatment of obesity, diabetes and other metabolic diseases.

1. Hypothalamic targets of leptin, adiponectin and resistin
2. Adipokine regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism
3. Role of leptin in neurodegeneration
4. Lipid droplet proteins, steatosis and glucose homeostasis
5. Role of myokines in glucose and lipid metabolism

Laboratory personnel:
Marcus Goncalves- CAMB graduate student
Victor Khor, PhD- Postdoctoral fellow
Emilie Caron, PhD- Postdoctoral fellow
Heong Park, MD- Postdoctoral fellow
Edward Lee, MD, PhD- Postdoctoral fellow (Pathology)
Rotonya Carr, MD- Postdoctoral fellow (Gastroenterology)
Ravindra Dhir, PhD-Senior Lab Manager, Technical Director, Penn DERC Mouse Phenotyping Core
Xiaoyan Yin, MD- Research Specialist, Penn DERC Mouse Phenotyping Core
Regan Roat, BA-Research Specialist, Penn DERC Mouse Phenotyping Core
Vandana Rao- Penn undergraduate
Sheila Bagchi, Penn undergraduate

Description of Clinical Expertise

Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


Description of Other Expertise

Metabolic Phenotyping of mouse models of obesity, diabetes and dyslipidemia:

Monitoring of feeding, energy expenditure, locomotor activity
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Last updated: 03/05/2014
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