Insulin Action and Energy Metabolism

The balance between food consumption (energy intake) and energy expenditure (metabolic rate, exercise) is ultimately what determines fat accumulation, obesity and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Different tissues in the body (for example muscle, liver, fat tissue) contribute differently to the processing, storage and utilisation of food.

We are investigating the changes that occur in these tissues when the amount of fat in the diet is high. We also use animal models to examine the role of specific genes in how the body uses sugars and fats. We are particularly interested in genes that regulate fat and glucose metabolism in muscle or genes that regulate the size and insulin sensitivity of muscle. We are also investigating whether alterations in the natural rhythms of light/dark and fasting/feeding can impact of the way the body regulates sugar and fat metabolism.

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