Faculty of the Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism
Theodore P. Ciaraldi, Ph.D.
Associate Project Scientist
Keywords: diabetes mellitus, carbohydrate metabolism, insulin resistance, fatty acid metabolism, dyslipidemia, metabolic syndrome
My laboratory has two major focuses. The first is to elucidate the signal transduction mechanisms by which insulin acutely regulates carbohydrate metabolism and how these mechanisms may be impaired in human insulin resistance. To this end we investigate enzyme activation, protein phosphorylation and the formation of multimolecular signaling complexes that occur in response to insulin. Many of these studies are performed in skeletal muscle and adipose tissue specimens or cell lines obtained from obese, type 2 diabetic and polycystic ovarian syndrome subjects, all insulin resistant states. By comparing the results in these subjects to the behaviors noted in normally insulin sensitive individuals we hope to identify which signaling events may be impaired in conditions of insulin resistance.
The second area of interest is the chronic regulation of glucose and free fatty acid metabolism in these same subject populations, who also display impairments in glucose tolerance and dyslipidemia. One goal is to determine which defects in metabolism may be primary/genetic in origin and which may be acquired from the in vivo environment. These studies investigate regulation of both the expression and function of key genes, such as glucose and fatty acid transporters.
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