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Nuclear receptor/microRNA circuitry links muscle fiber type to energy metabolism.
Gan Z, Rumsey J, Hazen BC, Lai L, Leone TC, Vega RB, Xie H, Conley KE, Auwerx J, Smith SR, Olson EN, Kralli A, Kelly DP
J Clin Invest. 2013 Jun 3;123(6):2564-75
Rick Vega's Research Focus
Cardiovascular Diseases, Diabetes - General, Metabolic Diseases, Obesity
Our laboratory focuses on the gene transcriptional regulatory programs controlling myocyte energy metabolism and mitochondrial function during development and in disease states, with emphasis on diabetes and heart failure.
Rick Vega's Research Report
The dramatic increase in obesity is driving an increased risk of serious
morbidities including metabolic syndrome, diabetes and cardiovascular
disease. A frequent early manifestation of the complications of obesity is
ectopic neutral lipid accumulation in the cells of tissues such as skeletal
and cardiac muscle, liver and pancreas. It is now realized that this
abnormal cellular lipid accumulation (steatosis) is tightly linked to the
pathophysiology of obesity-related diabetes. Therefore, novel therapeutic
strategies directed toward reducing lipid accumulation in non-storage
tissues such as skeletal muscle are desperately needed. Our laboratory in
collaboration with CPCCG has conducted a high-throughput screen to identify
small molecules that block the accumulation of neutral lipid in skeletal
About Rick Vega
Dr. Vega oversees projects involving therapeutic target discovery [drug development] and small molecule screens, including a collaboration with Takeda Pharmaceuticals.
As a senior member of the Kelly laboratory, Dr. Vega implements high content screening technologies and genomics to identify novel mechanisms that regulate myocyte lipid metabolism.