Metabolic Disease

Belly fat differs from thigh fat

Belly fat differs from thigh fat

Researchers discovered that the genes active in a person’s belly fat are significantly different from those in his or her thigh fat, a finding that could shift the way we approach unwanted belly fat—from banishing it to relocating it.

Obesity research advances to clinical testing

Obesity research advances to clinical testing

Discoveries made in the laboratories of Sanford-Burnham will, for the first time, advance to the clinical research at the Florida Hospital – Sanford-Burnham Translational Research Institute for Metabolism and Diabetes (TRI).

Super athletic mice burn more sugar

Super athletic mice burn more sugar

Sanford-Burnham scientists are unraveling a mechanism that re-programs metabolic genes in muscles in a way that increases their capacity to use sugar. When activated in mice, this metabolic re-programming dramatically improves exercise performance.

What are Metabolic Diseases?

A reductionist definition of metabolism is the biological inter-conversion of cellular associated organic molecules to optimize cell function. Thousands of enzymes, biological catalysts, perform chemical transformations to capture energy and re-configure bio-organic compounds required for cell integrity and function. And any disruption of the normal process results in metabolic disease.

What is the focus of our program—What questions are
we asking?

The Metabolic Disease program at Sanford/Burnham is focused on metabolic diseases that primarily affect the metabolic syndrome, which refers to metabolic complications that influence development of cardiovascular disease, obesity and type II diabetes. Metabolic Syndrome develops when the body’s normal process of sensing dietary nutrients for utilization of energy and storage are fundamentally perturbed through genetic, epigenetic or environmental mechanisms.

How will our research help patients?

Research in the Metabolic Disease program will help decipher the fundamental cellular defects associated with metabolic diseases and how individual molecular defects combine to influence outward disease phenotypes. Through robust collaborations with our clinical partners at the TRI-MD at Florida Hospital and others, these discoveries will leading to development of both diagnostic tools and therapeutic strategies to help further prevent the development and manifestation of metabolic disease symptoms in patients.

Recent Developments


Uncovering the molecular causes of heart failure

PGC-1 regulates cardiac mitochondrial phospholipid biosynthesis. 

Recent Publications
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