Nutrigenomics, Inflammation and Obesity Research Lab (NIOR)
Dr. Moustaid-Moussa’s research has focused on a potential role for adipose tissue in triggering and/or potentiating obesity and associated co-morbidity. Indeed, findings from her lab and others have documented an important role for adipose tissue as an endocrine system that impacts not only fat cell expansion but also in regulation of whole body homeostasis and other tissues through the bioactive hormones, metabolites and other substances that fat tissues secrete into the blood stream. Furthermore, her research has provided evidence for beneficial effects of bioactive food compounds such as omega 3 fatty acids via modulation of adipose tissue inflammation and metabolism.
Obesity has become an epidemic public health problem worldwide. In the US, over a third of adults are obese, and another two-thirds are overweight or obese. In addition, the percentage of children and adolescents who are obese has tripled over the past three decades and 17% of them are obese. The medical implications of this epidemic obesity are enormous, especially in the pediatric population, due to increased risk and incidence of diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, certain cancers and premature death in obese individuals, resulting in enormous health case burden.
Human Obesity is a complex disorder, most likely attributed to gene-environment interactions. Dr. Moustaid-Moussa’s research efforts take advantage of highly relevant animal models for human diseases as well as cell models (animal and clinical) to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying obesity. Obesity like other diseases requires multidisciplinary approaches for comprehensive understanding of this disease and to expedite progress towards its prevention and treatment.