Bariatric surgery is our most effective therapy for obesity and associated metabolic disease, but the mechanisms of action of these operations remain unclear. Our lab studies the biology of the sleeve gastrectomy, the most commonly performed bariatric operation, with a focus on the molecular connections between the intestine, gut luminal factors (microbiota, bile acids, metabolites), and the immune system.
Our lab has several active areas of investigation, involving animal models of surgery and translational studies of patients. We have recently discovered a novel gut-liver pathway activated by sleeve gastrectomy that leads to the production of an intestinal metabolite that improves glucose metabolism. We are working on manipulating this pathway as a new, non-invasive treatment for diabetes that mimics surgery. We have also identified changes in the function and metabolism of the immune system induced by sleeve gastrectomy, independent of weight loss. We are now determining how surgical regulation of immunometabolism affects our body’s response to pathogens, such as viral infections. Finally, we are using models of bariatric surgery and cancer to understand the mechanisms by which bariatric surgery influences cancer pathogenesis and response to treatment.
The lab is funded by the NIH, as well as non-profit and society grants. We have active collaborations with local investigators in the microbiome, endocrinology, and colon cancer. Prior surgical residents in the lab have been highly productive, with high-impact publications and multiple national presentations, and have had success in obtaining extramural funding and research awards.
- NIH R01 DK126855-01
- American Surgical Association Foundation Fellowship Award
- Blavatnik Biomedical Accelerator Program