Endocrinology/Metabolism

Peter J. Havel, DVM, PhD

Professor
Department of Molecular Biosciences
School of Veterinary Medicine and Department of Nutrition
Director, Endocrinology and Metabolism Core
Mouse Metabolic Phenotyping Center

(See also: Biochemistry, Gastroenterology, Pharmacology, Translational Medicine)

Our highly translational research program is actively investigating the regulation of energy homeostasis and carbohydrate/lipid metabolism, and involvement of endocrine systems in the pathophysiology of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. My laboratory is studying the mechanisms regulating the secretion of pancreatic and gastrointestinal, and adipocyte hormones. The role of endocrine, metabolic, and dietary factors in regulating energy balance, insulin action, and lipid/carbohydrate metabolism is studied in animal models (rodents and nonhuman primates) and humans. We are conducting studies on the prevention and treatment of diabetes in a rat model of type 2 diabetes developed in our laboratory (UCD-T2DM Rat) that is more similar in pathophysiology to type 2 diabetes in humans than other available models (Am. J. Physiol., 2008). We have used the UCD-T2DM model for 15 additional published studies on the pathophysiology of T2DM and for investigating pharmacological and surgical approaches for the treatment and prevention of T2DM. We have been involved in clinical studies and experiments in animal models investigating the effects of bariatric surgery procedures on how these endocrine changes are involved in improvements of carbohydrate and lipid metabolism and the resolution of type 2 diabetes observed after surgery. Another major focus of the research is the role of diet composition (such as dietary fat and fructose) in the development and progression of obesity, diabetes, and dyslipidemia including studies in animal models and clinical studies in humans. In addition, our laboratory has been conducting translational studies funded by the NIH, ADA, and pharmaceutical/ biotechnology industry sources at the California National Primate Research Center in a diet-induced rhesus monkey model of metabolic syndrome with insulin resistance and dyslipidemia (Clinical. Trans. Sci., 2011, ILAR Journal, 2017) as extensions of our studies in rodent models and as preclinical investigations that generate data and hypotheses that are then tested in clinical studies in humans. We have demonstrated that consumption of fructose, but not glucose-sweetened beverages for 10 weeks increases visceral adiposity and lipids and decreases insulin sensitivity in humans (J. Clin. Invest., 2009). We also recently completed a comprehensive NIH-funded dose-response study of the metabolic effects of sugar- sweetened beverages (Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 2015) and are currently studying the metabolic effects of dietary sugars under ad libitum versus energy-balanced conditions.

Jon Ramsey, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

(See also: Gastroenterology/GI Physiology)

My research focuses on energy metabolism as it relates to obesity and aging. Calorie restriction, without malnutrition, is the only intervention that has consistently been shown to increase maximum life span in mammalian species. My research is investigating possible mechanisms for the retardation of aging with calorie restriction. In the area of obesity, my research focuses on the role alterations in energy expenditure play in either assisting or opposing weight loss. Also, I am interested in preventing obesity in companion animals by better determining the energy requirements of cats and dogs.

Please visit Dr. Ramsey's website at: http://faculty.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/faculty/jjramsey/