Zang – Diabetes and Fatty Liver
Options: Volunteer Basis, Potential for UROP Funding, Potential for Work-Study Funding, Potential for Academic Credit
The experience in Dr. Mengwei Zang’s laboratory at Vascular Section, Department of Medicine, Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute, will provide the MD student(s) with an in-depth understanding of the pathogenesis of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and fatty liver disease. We have been investigating the role of nutrient sensors, such as AMP protein kinase and NAD-dependent deacetylase SIRT1, in regulating cell metabolism, ER stress, and diabetes. Our recent studies have defined AMPK as an key regulator that mediates the ability of polyphenols, like resveratrol, to inhibit high glucose-induced hepatocyte lipid accumulation and diet-induced obesity and type 2 diabetes through phosphorylation and inhibition of SREBP, which were published in Cell Metabolism (Li Y, 2011, 13(4):376-88) and FASEB J (Li Y, 2011, 25(5):1664-79). Our ongoing research projects! will further determine the role of these signaling in the regulation of lipid metabolism, ER stress, autophagy and insulin signaling in cultured hepatocytes and in type 2 diabetic mouse models by identifying new signaling events. We will utilize knockout mouse models, cultured cell models, molecular biology, and signaling transduction techniques for the ongoing projects. Better understanding of pathological mechanisms of obesity and diabetes will provide a great opportunity for the development of novel therapeutic strategies in metabolic disorders.