Welcome to the Newsroom
The IDOM Newsroom is your one stop place for announcements, news and events for the:
- Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Institute for Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism
- Diabetes Research Center
- Penn Rodebaugh Diabetes Center
Current News Features
Could Turning Down the Thermostat Help You Lose Weight?
Dutch researchers say keeping temperatures a little chillier at home and the office might be an additional weapon in the fight against obesity, HealthDay reports. The paper is largely based on theory, said Mitchell Lazar, MD, PhD, chief of the division of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism at the University of Pennsylvania. "But there is certainly evidence in people as well as rodents to suggest that reducing temperature makes the body burn more calories to keep up body temperature," said Lazar, who was not involved in the new study.
Is it worth turning down the thermostat if you're trying to shed some pounds? It's too soon to be certain that strategy would work, said Lazar, who also is the director of the University of Pennsylvania's Institute for Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism. "It would do no harm," he said. "It's worth a try for someone who is having trouble losing weight by diet and exercise alone."
>> HealthDay news syndicate article
January 21, 2014
A number of credible but controversial studies in recent years have found that people with certain chronic illnesses live longer if they're carrying too many pounds than if they're of "normal" weight, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The outside researchers mined two past studies - one that followed 8,900 nurses for 36 years and another that tracked 2,500 health professionals for 26 years. They concluded that diabetics who are too heavy get no survival benefit. On the contrary, the heavier the diabetic, the likelier an early death.
"These are epidemiological studies," said endocrinologist Rexford Ahima, MD, PhD, professor of Medicine. "They don't prove cause and effect. We are making inferences. My argument would be: Why don't we design experiments to study the direct effect of weight management in these groups? We could see how physically fit people are, how much muscle they have, not just how much they weigh. Those studies need to be done."
>> Philadelphia Inquirer article
January 16, 2014
Klaus Kaestner, PhD, professor of Geneticsand postdoctoral fellow Dana Avrahami, PhD,from the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, published a study this week in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, with colleague Benjamin Glaser, MD, from the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem, and colleagues. In this study, they were able to replicate human pancreatic beta cells – the cells in our body that produce the critical hormone insulin – in a mouse model in which donor cells were transplanted. The newly replicated cells retained features of mature beta cells and showed a physiological response to glucose. Kaestner is also a member of the Institute for Diabetes Obesity and Metabolism.
January 10, 2014
If you're overweight or obese, it may pay off to shed even just a few extra pounds, reports NBCNews.com. People who might be jolted into action by the new study should realize that even small changes in lifestyle can result in big differences, experts said. You don’t need to be pencil thin, said Rexford Ahima, MD, PhD, a professor of medicine and director of the obesity unit at the Institute for Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism . “There is such a thing as healthy weight,” Ahima said. “But it’s not going back to where you were in high school. If you’re overweight or obese, you should aim to be 5 to 10 percent less than you are today. Many studies have shown that a 5 to 10 percent weight reduction can impart benefit.”
December 25, 2013
Kaestner Lab Publication in Cell Metabolism
Congratulations to Vasumathi Kameswaran and the Kaester lab for the recent publication in Cell Metabolism entitle "Epigenetic Regulation of the DLK1-MEG3 MicroRNA Cluster in Human Type 2 Diabetic Islets".
December 11, 2013
Sleep-Deprived Mice Show Connections Among Lack of Shut-eye, Diabetes, Age
Sleep, or the lack of it, seems to affect just about every aspect of human physiology. Yet, the molecular pathways through which sleep deprivation wreaks its detrimental effects on the body remain poorly understood. Although numerous studies have looked at the consequences of sleep deprivation on the brain, comparatively few have directly tested its effects on peripheral organs.
Working with Penn colleague Joe Baur, Ph.D., assistant professor of Physiology, Nirinjini Naidoo, Ph.D. started a collaboration to look at the relationship of sleep deprivation, the UPR, and metabolic response with age.
December 11, 2013
Recently, Mitchell Lazar, MD, PhD, director of the Institute for Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism, has been studying the effects of deleting the gene for histone deacetylase 3 (HDAC3) from mice. HDAC3 is an enzyme that removes epigenetic marks from histone proteins and is thus a key regulator of gene expression. In a series of papers, the Lazar team reported that mice that lacked HDAC3 were more susceptible to heart disease when fed a high fat diet, and that they had altered fat storage and blood glucose metabolism.
December 11, 2013
Just as the earth rotates in a 24-hour cycle, humans and other animals have an internal rhythm. Penn researchers have been working to identify the molecules and pathways that maintain our sleep-wake clock or circadian rhythm. They’ve also made inroads into understanding how malfunctions in the clock influence — or even trigger — disease.
Mitchell Lazar, MD, PhD, director of the Institute for Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism at Penn, reported recently that two nuclear receptor genes — Rev-erb alpha and Rev-erb beta — are necessary for maintaining the clock.