Prachi Singh, Ph.D., studies cardiovascular and metabolic disorders in obesity. The long-term goal of Dr. Singh's research is to understand the molecular mechanisms contributing to obesity and consequent cardiovascular and metabolic disorders.
Dr. Singh's research team uses a translational approach involving extensive Clinical Research Unit-based protocols in humans, ex vivo studies using human tissue and in vitro studies. The lab conducts comprehensive studies of adipose tissue to determine changes in cell signaling, transcription and translation of proteins involved in the development of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases.
Dr. Singh's research has been funded by the American Heart Association, the European Union and the National Institutes of Health.
- Can obese adipose tissue be made healthy? In obesity, dysfunctional adipose tissue contributes to the development of cardiovascular and metabolic disorders. Dr. Singh is interested in understanding the factors that contribute to dysfunctional adipose tissue and how these can be manipulated to improve adipose tissue function in established obesity.
- What makes lower body fat different from abdominal fat? Excess abdominal fat contributes to dyslipidemia, hypertension and insulin resistance. In contrast, excess lower body fat is associated with an improved cardiovascular risk profile. Dr. Singh is interested in understanding what makes lower body fat different from the abdominal fat depot.
- What is the role of leptin in the development of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases? Leptin is an adipokine that is produced by the fat cells and hence increased in obesity. High levels of leptin are associated with increased cardiovascular risk. However, the contribution of leptin to the vasculature and adipose tissue function is not completely understood. Dr. Singh is working to better understand the molecular mechanisms through which leptin may contribute to the development of cardiovascular disorders in obese population.
- What is the role of sleep and sleep disorders in the development of obesity and associated cardiovascular and metabolic diseases? In recent years, the role of sleep and sleep disorders in the development of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases has been recognized. Dr. Singh is interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms linking sleep and obstructive sleep apnea to adipose tissue biology.
Significance to patient care
Obesity has reached epidemic proportions and incrementally contributes to the development of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases in the adult population. Therefore, identification of mechanisms and potential targets to either reduce obesity or reduce cardiovascular and diabetic burden in the obese population will have huge economic, social and health impacts.
New strategies to prevent and treat these diseases in the obese population will depend upon a better understanding of the responsible mechanisms. Dr. Singh's research aims to improve our understanding of the biologic processes that make an obese person susceptible to cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
- Research Fellowship in Life Sciences and Eligibility for Lectureship, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and University Grant Commission (UGC) Fellowship Schemes, India, 1998-2002
- Dr. C.R. Krishna Murti Memorial Young Scientist Medal, Society of Biological Chemists, India, 2002
- Postdoctoral Fellowship, American Heart Association, 2007-2009
- Basic Cardiovascular Sciences Abstract Travel Award for Annual Scientific Sessions, American Heart Association, 2008
- Scientist Development Grant, American Heart Association, 2011-2015