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Research Programs

The Center for Metabolic Disease Research (CMDR) is designed to conduct basic science and clinical relevant research to identify the cause-effect relationship between novel therapeutic targets and the pathogenesis of metabolic diseases and vascular pathologies associated with metabolic diseases. To achieve this goal, the CMDR supports and promotes collaborative and multidisciplinary research to study pathological and metabolic changes in cardiovascular diseases, including hyperlipidemia, hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, hyperhomocysteinemia, obesity, vascular inflammation, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, myocardial infarction, stroke, peripheral artery disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, metabolic cardiovascular disease (CVD) and chronic kidney disease (CKD).

The CMDR has extensive collaborative research programs and facilitates collaborations with other investigators and promotes the excellency in research, education and service.

Research programs in CMDR including the following:

  • Omics research uses cutting edged technologies including microarray, and next generation sequencing such as RNA-Seq, CHIP-Seq, whole genome DNA methylation mapping and pyro-Seq to identify panoramic changes and molecular features, including genomics, epigenomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, lipidomics, and noncoding RNAs in metabolic and cardiovascular diseases.
  • Vascular cell biological/biochemical research applies two photon confocal microscope, flow cytometer and Seahorse mitochondrial XF Analyzer to investigate cell biological/biochemical changes involved in the pathology of metabolic diseases, including vascular cell proliferation, cell death, and senescence, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, mitochondrial ROS generation, epigenetic histone modifications, etc.
  • Vascular pathology/physiology research employs intravital microscopy, micro-CT, electron spin resonance and wire/perfusion myographes, thrombosis assays to identify the pathological changes in blood vessels in metabolic diseases.  We use various mouse disease models to study the vascular pathology and underlying mechanism in metabolic and cardiovascular diseases.
  • Immunological research uses flow cytometry, mass spectrometer, cytokine arrays, ELISA and other immunological tools to determine T cell polarization/cell death and monocyte/macrophage differentiation, and their interplay and roles in tissue inflammation, innate and adaptive immunity.
  • Lipid and high density lipoprotein (HDL) research utilizes high performance chromatograph, mass spectrometer, and molecular and biochemical approaches to investigate the metabolite and regulation of lipid and HDL in metabolic and cardiovascular disease.
  • Stem cell and gene-based tissue repair research examines stem/progenitor cell differentiation in metabolic disease and implication in vascular repair. 
  • Novel drug discovery research utilizes high throughput screenings of large scale compound libraries against isolated biological targets to identify novel therapy for metabolic and cardiovascular disease.
  • Bioinformatics and database mining research analyzes big datasets in NIH database to identify signaling pathways and generate novel hypotheses for the development of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases.