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Bariatric & Metabolic Research

The Bariatric and Metabolic Research laboratory, based at the James A Haley VA Research Building has a primary focus on obesity/metabolic research. To that end, the laboratory has established a rat model of diet-induced obesity which serves as a model for experimental gastric bypass. Using this unique model, the laboratory has established a reproducible model of surgically-induced weight loss in rats and reported the following novel findings:

Gastric bypass in obese rats

  • improves steatosis in rat liver
  • reduces oxidative stress in liver
  • increases lipolysis and decreases lipogenesis thru SCD, LKB1, SIRT1 and AMPK
  • downregulates TNF in adipose tissue
  • May increase serum and liver adiponectin
  • Improves glucose tolerance and increases pancreatic mass

These data are novel, robust and have been well received at surgical meetings. Publications are in preparation.

A second focus is the role of cytokines in systemic inflammation during pancreatitis. With an emphasis on signaling pathways in Kupffer cells during pancreatitis, several novel mechanisms for stress-induced Kupffer cell apoptosis have been described.

The Bariatric and Metabolic Research team includes post-doctoral fellows, surgical residents and medical students. This team has been funded via 2 VA Merit Awards, a VA Career Development Award and USF and ASMBS research grants. The collective number of original publications in peer-reviewed journals (including clinical and basic) exceeds 80 manuscripts since 1998, with an equivalent number of oral or poster presentation in national meetings.

Current research personnel

  • Michel Murr, MD
  • Yanlina Peng, PhD