Translational Metabolism Research Laboratory

Research goals

  1. Identify metabolic complications of suboptimal lifestyle – overweight and limited physical activity.
  2. Elucidate mechanisms underlying metabolic improvement following lifestyle intervention – acute physical activity, exercise training and/or diet modification.
  3. Translate findings from our studies into effective disease prevention and disease treatment interventions.

We investigate the ability of insulin to regulate blood sugar levels by stimulating the uptake of sugar (i.e. glucose) into muscle cells. This process is often impaired in individuals with a suboptimal lifestyle, but can be readily approved via changes in physical activity and diet. We employ numerous techniques to better understand the role of muscle as a regulator of blood sugar levels through research studies in humans and model systems.

Below you can learn more about our research capabilities.

in vivo Physiology

In vivo Physiology

In collaboration with Samaritan Athletic Medicine (SAM), we study human research participants in a fully-supported clinical setting. An abbreviated list of our resources and capabilities includes:

  • Hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp
  • Skeletal muscle biopsy
  • Stable isotope dilution
  • Arterialized blood sampling
  • Indirect calorimetry
  • Electrocardiography (ECG)
  • Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA)
  • Cycle ergometry
  • Treadmill
  • Rowing ergometry
  • Resistance exercise capabilities
  • Pharmacy compounding
  • Clinical blood chemistry analysis

Model systems

We employ model systems to investigate mechanisms that cannot be studied in humans; these include murine and culture-based models. An abbreviated list of our model system resources and capabilities includes:

  • Primary and established line cell culture
  • Cell transfection capabilities
  • Biosafety cabinet
  • Culture incubator
  • N2 cell storage dewar
  • TS2 LED microscope
  • Harvard 5-lane treadmill for mouse exercise
  • Promethion system for mouse metabolic monitoring
Woman in white lab coats working in a laboratory.
A woman in a laboratory coat and protective goggles working with scientific equipment and glassware.

Analysis and Equipment

Samples we generate are analyzed using multiple platforms and techniques; this includes ex vivo mitochondrial respiration assays to lipid isolation and analysis.

An abbreviated list of our analysis capabilities and equipment includes:

  • 2 Oxygraph-2k systems (high-resolution respirometry)
  • 2 O2k-Fluorometers
  • TIP2k module (titration-injection micropump)  
  • LI-COR IR imaging system
  • Alpha Innotech imaging system
  • Bio-Rad Trans Blot Turbo system
  • Applied Biosystems Real-Time PCR system
  • Bio-Rad thermal cycler
  • Organomation N2-evaporation system
  • Molecular Devices M2 plate reader
  • Barnstead water purification system
  • Beckman multipurpose scintillation counter
  • 2 Eppendorf Innova ULT freezers
  • Chromatography fridge for 4°C applications
  • High-speed and ultra-centrifugation
  • Full laboratory back-up power supply