Nutrigenomics, Inflammation and Obesity Research Lab (NIOR)
Summaries of Currently Funded Projects
- American Heart Association
Adipose angiotensinogen inactivation reduces inflammation and insulin resistance
Adipose (fat) tissue has been recently linked to the development of obesity and associated metabolic disorders including heart disease and diabetes. This has been primarily attributed to the endocrine and inflammatory function of adipose tissue whereby fat cells secrete several inflammatory molecules that are in part responsible for these metabolic alterations. Our goal is to understand the role of these adipose-derived hormones in the development of these diseases. We are specifically interested in understanding how angiotensin II, a hypertensive hormone that is unexpectedly produced by fat cells, contributes to inflammation, an underlying cause for diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
- USDA Southeast Sungrant Program
Anti-inflammatory properties of switchgrass extractives:
Botanicals and bioactive compounds (such as those found in fruits, vegetables, nuts and other plants) possess anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial in obesity-associated inflammation and chronic diseases. Our team of scientist at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agricuture (Drs. Labbe, Ownley, Gwinn, and DeSouza) and Texas Tech University (Moustaid-Moussa) are interested in generating and investigating added value of extractives derived from switchgrass, a potent bioenergy crop. We are evaluating the anti-inflammatory potential of crude switchgrass extracts on adipose tissue inflammation. In future studies, fractionated extractives and specific phytochemicals in the crude fractions will be further tested. This may lead to discovery of new plant compounds with anti-inflammatory and/or anti-obesity effects.
- TTU Start Up Funds from the Office of the Vice President for Research and The College of Human Sciences
Nutrigenomics, Inflammation, and Obesity Research, 2013-2016
- Competitive Stimulus Proposal Funds, Office of the Vice President for Research, Texas Tech University
Angiotensinogen inactivation prevents inflammation (2013)
- Physician’s Medical Education and Research Foundation (PMERF) Research Award
(Role: Co-PI); 2012-2013. The objective of this study was to test whether decreased adipose tissue and systemic inflammation mediates metabolic improvements post-bariatric surgery.
- Physician’s Medical Education and Research Foundation (PMERF) Research Award,
PI; 2011-2012. Omega-3 Poly Unsaturated Fatty Acids, inflammation and insulin resistance in human adipose tissue.
- USDA-NIFA- AFRI Conference grant
PD; 2010. Experimental Biology Symposium on Systems Genetics in Nutrition and Obesity Research.
- AHA, GIA
Southeast Affiliate, PI; 2009-2011. Mechanisms linking adipocyte angiotensinogen to insulin resistance. In this project we investigated mechanism by which overexpression on angiotensinogen in transgenic mice trigger insulin resistance and inflammation
- AHA, Predoctoral fellowship
Role: Sponsor for grad student Dr. Nishan Kalupahana, 2009-2011. Metabolic effects of caloric restriction in mice overexpressing angiotensinogen in adipose tissue
- USDA/NIFA-NRI, PD; 2006-2011
Dietary Regulation of the Secretory Function of Adipose Tissue. In this project we investigated regulation of adipokines by carbohydrates and fatty acids in murine and human adipose tissue and animal models of obesity
Co-PD; 2008-2013. Integrated research and Extension childhood obesity prevention project that tested the hypothesis that a creative problem solving curriculum will help prevent and/or decrease childhood obesity and increase healthy behaviors and practices. A curriculum was developed and pilot tested across the state of Tennessee through The University of Tennessee Extension’s Family and Consumer Sciences Program