Three Diabetes Center affiliated researchers are featured in a recent issue of Forefront magazine, a publication of the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Robert Farese Jr., MD, a senior scientist at the UCSF Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease, is studying the biology of fat storage.
In this Forefront article (pages 7-9), Dr. Farese shares how he became involved in the issues of obesity and type 2 diabetes. He also discusses his current research that is focused on understanding how cells synthesize and store neutral fats such as triglycerides. On page 10 of this publication, Christian Vaisse, MD, PhD of the UCSF Diabetes Center describes how he is investigating the genetic causes of obesity. Dr. Vaisse has been working with a gene called melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) that plays a role in severe human obesity. When mutated, MC4R accounts for 1 to 6 percent of pediatric cases of severe obesity. Not only does Dr. Vaisse hope that his research involving MC4R will lead to new anti-obesity therapeutics, he hopes to identify new pathways involved in obesity. Lastly on page 31 of Forefront, James "Jay" Gardner, an MD/PhD candidate in the lab of Mark Anderson, MD, PhD, discusses his research involving AIRE, a gene that helps teach developing immune cells in the thymus how to identify and not attack "self." In the team's breakthrough discovery, a "back-up" system has been identified that appears to catch any dangerous T cells that may have escaped the thymus. All three of these researchers are receiving funding from the ADA.