RESEARCH

Identification and function of orphan hormones and blood factors as therapeutics and biomarkers of metabolic disease 

 Our lab uses an integrated approach of genetic models, biochemistry, molecular biology and proteomic techniques to identify and study new hormones and their function. Our goals are to clarify the molecular pathways of metabolic disease, develop therapeutics targeting pathways in energy expenditure, and to facilitate the development of diagnostic tools for identification of metabolic disease. Finding new pathways are important from a biological perspective to increase the understanding of complex regulation of physiology, but also offers direct methods for translational development of protein therapeutics and biomarkers.


SPECIFIC PROJECTS

Mechanistic insights into Slit2-C action

 
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We have previously identified a fragment of a secreted factor called Slit2-C (Svensson et al, Cell Metab, 2016). Current studies are focusing on characterizing the molecular mechanisms of action by protein therapeutic approaches, as well as identifying the Slit2-C receptor on adipocytes.


Investigating the role of a novel secreted protein, Isthmin-1 in metabolic disease

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Isthmin-1 is a novel secreted factor secreted from adipocytes. Current studies are focusing on how Isthmin-1 leads to alleviation of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Using gain-and loss of function models, we are investigating the molecular mechanisms of Isthmin-1 action.


Development of a biomarker footprint of early diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

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There are no early biomarkers for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The goal of this project is to identify biomarkers of early insulin resistance and hepatic steatosis as an alternative to invasive liver biopsies to diagnose or monitor treatment response.