DRC member, Bhagirath Chaurasia, PhD, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism focuses his research to understand how ceramides impair nutrient sensing in adipose tissue and contribute to the development of metabolic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, etc.
Dr. Chaurasia’s article “Ceramides are necessary and sufficient for diet-induced impairment of thermogenic adipocytes” was recently accepted to the journal of Molecular Metabolism.
His accepted paper explains that lipid metabolite, ceramide is a key modulator of thermogenic adipocyte metabolism. Aging and weight gain lead to a decline in brown adipose tissue (BAT) functionality that exacerbates obesity and insulin resistance. These unique adipocytes dissipate energy by generating heat through uncoupled respiration, a process mediated by uncoupling protein-1 (UCP-1). BAT quantity and activity inversely correlate with age and adiposity, leading investigators to speculate that disruption of BAT may contribute to the obesity epidemic. Motivated by these observations, researchers have sought to identify strategies to activate BAT to treat obesity and its metabolic comorbidities. Recent new findings from our laboratory indicate that ceramides, a class of lipid metabolites that accumulate under conditions of overnutrition, are both sufficient and necessary to impair BAT metabolism. These studies reveal that implementation of therapeutic strategies to lower ceramides may serve as a means of improving BAT health to combat obesity and cardiometabolic disease.
Join us in congratulating Dr. Bhagirath Chaurasia on his recent accomplishment!