Benjamin Linden, a second-year medical student working in the lab of Mohamad Mokadem, MD, received funding for a twelve-week Summer Research Fellowship from the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine. As a fellow in one of the many opportunities within the Iowa Medical Student Research Program, Linden is researching the effects of the endogenous endocannabinoid system and the sympathetic nervous system on diet-induced obesity.
Linden is testing the effects of several diet compositions (high-fat vs. high-carbohydrate vs. regular balanced “chow”) on energy balance and activation of the adipose tissue sympathetic nervous system through endocannabinoid signaling pathway.
“Previous research has shown that the endocannabinoid system may be involved in a positive-feedback system of fat consumption driving the observed phenotype in diet-induced obesity,” Linden said. “Understanding how certain dietary macromolecules affect these systems may provide further insights on potential targets for obesity and metabolic disease treatments.” In future research, Linden will analyze the differences in gut microbiome.
Linden will also be involved in other active projects in Mokadem’s lab looking at the roles of TLR4 on cardiac function in obesity and GLP-1 in glucose homeostasis in a model of chronic intestinal injury. Mokadem says he is very excited about Linden’s upcoming project. “Ben is a very smart, meticulous, and motivated young scientist who has high potentials of becoming a successful physician-scientist.”