Current research projects
Lab focus 1: Metabolism and signal transduction pathways activated by sugar and uric acid.
Our work addresses gut and liver determinants of metabolic health and disease. We focus our studies on metabolism and signal transduction pathways activated by sugars and uric acid, which initiate metabolic cascades via specific membrane transporters in the glucose transporter (GLUT) family of homologs. We use a number genetic and pharmacological approaches in cell culture and in animal models to understand pathways downstream of the GLUTs involved in metabolic perturbations such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and metabolic syndrome.
Lab focus 2: New approaches to fatty liver disease and metabolic syndrome treatment
We are using targeted, mechanistic insights into the GLUT function and signaling to identify novel compounds as a potentially new treatment for fatty liver disease and metabolic syndrome. We recently identified a nutraceutical, trehalose as a novel disaccharide GLUT inhibitor that mitigates liver fat deposition. We are developing unbiased genetic screening techniques as well as –omics-based techniques to identify novel pathways activated by this and similarly active compounds to develop new therapies for metabolic perturbations.