Diseases related to defects in metabolism cause significant health care burden and impact the quality of life of those affected. Many of these diseases — such as obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, age-related diseases and some forms of cancer — are increasing in epidemic proportion.
The Center for Biomedical Discovery's metabolism and molecular nutrition biomedical research platform provides new mechanistic insights into metabolic-based diseases and how they might be treated by:
- Improving understanding of the basic regulatory mechanisms underlying systems that supply energy to the cell, organs and whole body
- Determining how these regulatory systems fail or produce detrimental side effects, leading to disease
- Identifying therapies and treatments to prevent dysregulation of these systems and ameliorate the adverse effects of system failure
Most bodily processes and cells need energy, which is provided by complex, highly controlled systems that convert fuel (food) to various chemical forms of stored energy.
The liver, muscle and fat store most of the body's energy needs. These stored supplies in organs lie at the core of many metabolic-related diseases and conditions. On a cellular level, when these organs retain an overabundance of stored fat or starch — or are placed under additional conditions of stress or inflammation — they can become damaged or diseased. This is especially pronounced when fat in the abdominal cavity (omentum) becomes inflamed.