Biology of Obesity

Fabien Basset
Our research focuses on environmental physiology, cardiorespiratory, and metabolic responses to exercise. Our recent experiments examined the acute and chronic responses to exercise in obese individuals, particularly investigating the effect of metabolic stress (induced by exercise, cold, or hypoxia) on substrate partitioning (as an indicator of the metabolic flexibility).
Jacqueline Blundell
Sukhinder Cheema Effects of lipid emulsions used in total parenteral nutrition on hepatic and adipocytes function

Sherri L Christia


We are interested in understanding how specific proteins and genes regulate the size and number of fat cells. We are also interested in understanding how these proteins are affected by diet. Long-term, we think that targeting these proteins could help reduce obesity. Alternatively, these same strategies may help people who don't have enough fat, a condition known as lipodystrophy.
Graham Fraser My lab aims to quantify mass transport of oxygen, nutrients, and other biologically active molecules from the vascular compartment into living tissue.  We are working to understand the integrated mechanisms behind blood flow regulation from the arteriolar level, through to capillary networks, and the constituent venous vasculature.    My research is focusing on inflammatory disease and its impact on blood flow in capillary networks and the resulting defects to oxygen delivery, and glucose/insulin transport in skeletal muscle.  We use rodent models and intravital video microscopy to quantitatively study vascular conditions in health, sepsis, type 2 diabetes, preeclampsia, and hypertension.

Michiru Hirasawa


The brain is responsible for regulating the balance between food intake and energy expenditure, thus obesity could result from changes in the brain. Our goal is to understand how obesogenic environment or genetic background causes changes in the brain using animal models of diet-induced obesity (most common form of obesity) and genetic obesity (Prader-Willi Syndrome). We are also investigating the effect of binge eating and yo-yo dieting on the brain.
Guang Sun Identification of nutritional, hormonal and genetic factors involved in the development of human obesity and its comorbidities and interactions of these factors in promoting or reducing obesity at individual or group levels.