Our laboratory is located within the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine. The laboratory is a core member of the Institute for Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism (IDOM) & the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology.
Our research is aimed at understanding the regulatory pathways that control the development, differentiation, and function of adipose (fat) cells. There are at least three distinct types of adipose cells (described as white, brown, or beige) differing effects on energy balance and body weight regulation. White adipose tissue is highly adapted to store any excess energy from food as triglyceride (fat). Brown adipose tissue, on the other hand, functions to dissipate chemical energy in the form of heat. Beige fat cells are similar in many ways to brown fat cells but arise amongst white adipose in response to stimuli such as prolonged cold exposure.
Excess accumulation of white fat tissue - as occurs in obesity - has numerous health consequences, including insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain types of cancer. By increasing energy expenditure, the activity of brown and beige fat cells can act to counteract obesity. Strategies that increase the amounts or function of the brown and beige fat cells in humans could be safe and effective methods for treating obesity and preventing its associated diseases.
Please check out more details about specific projects and research in the lab by browsing through our website.