Bhagirath Chaurasia, PhD, assistant professor in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, has recieved a four-year, $545,100 Junior Faculty Development Award from the American Diabetes Association (ADA). The grant will fund Chaurasia’s exploration of the mechanisms by which ceramides regulate adipocyte overload.
Chaurasia described his current research:
Ceramides are fat molecules that accumulate in individuals with obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Recent research findings have shown that blocking ceramide synthesis production in fat/adipose tissue improves adipose tissue’s ability to produce appropriate hormones for metabolism and endocrine functions in the body. Our subsequent work has led to identifying ceramides as key nutrient signals that regulate nutrient storage. The current project seeks to understand how ceramides regulate nutrient sensing in thermogenic adipocytes to modulate its function. We think, understanding the ceramide-dependent regulatory steps might lead to uncovering new therapeutic approaches for improving thermogenic adipocyte function and combating obesity and associated diseases, such as diabetes and heart diseases.