Targeting lymph-fat interactions to develop new treatments for diabetes

There is a global epidemic of obesity, insulin resistance (IR) and type 2 diabetes (T2D). Excess abdominal fat increases the risk of IR and T2D but the reasons are not completely understood. The intestinal lymphatics flow through abdominal fat. Recent studies from our lab have demonstrated that in obesity lymph fluid 'leaks' from intestinal  lymph vessels  leading to fat expansion and changes that promote IR.

This project aims:

1. To confirm the potential to treat IR/T2D through targeted modulation of lymph content and/or lymph access to abdominal fat

2. To identify the components of lymph that promote changes in fat function leading to IR

The studies will advance understanding of the mechanisms that drive IR/T2D and inform the design of improved treatments for obesity, IR and T2D.

Interdisciplinary Research

This project will involve interaction with specialists in metabolic disease, drug delivery, chemistry and imaging. The student will receive extensive training in obesity and metabolic disease models, molecular biology, imaging techniques,  drug delivery and pharmacokinetics.