Assistant Professor of Biology
Gittleson Hall 306
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Degrees: PHD, 2008, Univ Pennsylvania; BS, 2002, Univ Delaware
The ability of an organism to recognize and store available nutrients as fat is essential for survival. However, excess fat storage leads to pathophysiological states such as obesity and Type 2 Diabetes, which are some of the leading causes of death currently in the United States. Thus, a thorough understanding of how lipid storage is regulated is necessary to understand the pathogenesis of these diseases. The research in my lab focuses on understanding the genes and pathways responsible for increasing fat storage in response to high nutrients. To accomplish this objective, we use a combination of cellular, molecular, biochemical and genetic approaches in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. Fruit flies store triglycerides in a liver and adipose-like organ known as the fat body using mechanisms highly conserved from flies to humans, providing a simple and ideal system to study lipid metabolism. The long-term goal of my research program is to work side by side with students to enhance our understanding of the mechanisms controlling proper lipid storage in response to nutrient abundance.
Cell Biology, Bioinformatics, Endocrinology, Biotechnology, Animal Form and Function