Texas Tech University

Nutritional Sciences

Nutrigenomics, Inflammation and Obesity Research Lab (NIOR)

Summaries of Currently Funded Projects

  • NIH R15: Moustaid-Moussa (PI) and Ramalingam (Co-I) 09/01/16-08/30/2019" "Anti-obesity Effects of Omega 3 Fatty Acids in Brown Adipose Tissue ". The goal of the project is to investigate mechanisms by which omega-3 fatty acids activate brown fat in obese mice and in cultured brown fat cells from mice and human adipose stem cells.
  • AHA AIREA: Ramalingam (PI) and Moustaid-Moussa (Co-I) 07/01/17-06/30/2019 " Role of Omega-3's in Early Life Programming ". The project aims to understand the role of omega-3 in preventing detrimental metabolic effects of maternal obesity in offspring health.
  • USDA NIFA ELI Pre-doctoral Fellowship: Albracht-Schulte (PD), Moustaid-Moussa (Mentor/Sponsor) 02/15/17- 01/31/19 " MicroRNAs mediating effects of eicosapentaenoic acid in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease ".
    TTU investigators: Moustaid-Moussa (PI) and Ramalingam (Co-PI)
    USP investigators (University of Sao Paulo investigators): Dr. Sonia Jancar (PI); 05/2016-05/2018 "Mechanisms mediating anti-inflammatory effects of omega 3 fatty acids in metabolic diseases: Role of lipid mediators and miRNAs" The goal of this project if to determine the role of lipid mediators, namely leukotrienes in inflammation, in obesity and diabetes and the role of anti-inflammatory fish oil and miRNAs in these mechanisms.
  • Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI Internal Grant Program) /Hamad bin Khalifa University, Qatar (Qatar PI: Dr. Mohammed Dehbi). TTU PI: Naima Moustaid-Moussa. 03/15/2018-03/14/2020
    In vivo role of DNAJB3/HSP 40 co-chaperone in controlling glucose homeostasis and insulin signaling in a mouse model of diet-induced obesity and diabetes. Dr. Moustaid-Moussa's role on this project is to develop and phenotype a knockout mouse model lacking HSP-40 to determine its effects on glucose homeostasis, obesity and diabetes.
  • USDA NIFA ELI Post-Doctoral Fellowship: Dr. Mandana Pahlavani (PD), Moustaid-Moussa (Mentor/Sponsor) 2018-2020; "Integrated Gene and Microrna Networks Mediating Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Omega 3 Fatty Acids in Diet-Induced Obesity"


Recently Completed

  • 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)
  • USDA-AFRI (Role: PI) 02/01/14-0-01/14/17
    Nutri-metabolomics symposium at Experimental Biology EB14 and USDA Nutrition Project Directors Meetings
    This is conference proposal to organize a symposium on nutri-metabolomics during Experimental Biology (EB) 2014, sponsored by The American Society for Nutrition, Also this grant provides funds to help organize the 2014 and 2016 annual USDA Project Director's progress report meeting during EB 2014-2016.
  • USDA-NIFA: AFRI Moustaid-Moussa (PI) 06/01/15-05/30/2017
    "C elegans as a model to study anti-inflammatory effects of omega 3 fatty acids". The goal is to establish the C elegans as a model for nutritional studies and identifying novel miRNAs mediating their effects on lipid metabolism, inflammation and oxidative stress"
  • USDA-AFRI (Role: Co-PI) 09/01/2013-08/31/2017
    Adding Value to Switchgrass Biofuel Production by Use of the Non-Structural Compounds Subproject: Anti-inflammatory effects of switchgrass extractives in adipocytes
    Goal is to optimize extraction procedures of bioactive compounds from switchgrass, fractionate the extractives, characterize them and test their effects on adipocyte inflammation (my subproject) as well plant and food borne pathogens (other Co-PIs). PI is Dr. Labbe, University of Tennessee. No overlap with current proposal
  • 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
  • American Heart Association (Role: PI) 7/1/2013—6/30/2015
    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 (Role: Co-PI) 4/1/2013-3/30/2015
    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.

Nutritional Sciences