Catherine Weikart Yeckel PhD

Associate Research Scientist in and Lecturer in Epidemiology (Environmental Health)

Research Interests

Obesity; Insulin resistance; Exercise physiology and metabolism;Metabolic Syndrome; Autonomic Nervous System; Inorganic arsenic metabolism; Cardiovascular risk

Current Projects

  • Maximal exercise recovery as a model for insulin resistance and beta-cell function.
  • Mild cold and PET-imaging to examine the norepinephine reuptake transporter in human brown adipose tissue
  • Cardiovascular risk from exposure to inorganic arsenic in drinking water
  • Inter-individual differences in inorganic arsenic metabolic partitioning and low birth weight outcome.
  • Collaboration (animal model): Integgration nutrient sensing pathways

Research Summary

Obesity related insulin resistance as primary health risk factors for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease are a main research focus to date. Skeletal muscle plays a dominant role in glucose control. One goal is has been to develop an exercise challenge model to exploit muscle glucose metabolism in healthy overweight/obese young people with the intent of providing an early warning system for health risk. Most recently, growing interest in the potential role of brown adipose tissue in obesity has led to current research using mild cold exposure in combination with special imaging techniques to explore a new method to examine the role of autonomic nervous system activation of brown adipose tissue in humans. In addition, using a classic autonomic nervous system challenge, the cold pressor test, helps to magnify potential cardiovascular risk associated with drinking water containing low-to-moderate levels of inorganic arsenic. This work conducted in rural Romania also has led to investigation of inter-individual differences in human inorganic arsenic metabolism with respect to patterns of retention or excretion. Collaborative work is ongoing in the area of nutrient sensing pathways: Roles of taste, digestion, and brain processing contributions to ingestive behavior.


Selected Publications

  • Kunrath J, Gurzau, E; Gurzau A; Goessler W, Gelmann ER, Thach T, *McCarty KM; *Yeckel CW. Blood pressure hyperreactivity: An early cardiovascular risk in normotensive men exposed to low-to-moderate inorganic arsenic in drinking water. Journal of Hypertension Feb, 31(2):361-9. 2013. *= equal contribution as Senior Author
  • Lin SF, Fan X, Yeckel CW, Weinzimmer D, Mulnix T, Gallezot JD, Carson RE, Sherwin RS, and Ding YS. Ex vivo and in vivo evaluation of the norepinephrine transporter ligand [(11)C]MRB for brown adipose tissue imaging. Nucl Med Biol. 39(7): 1081-6. Epub May 15, 2012.
  • DiPietro, L , Dziura, J, Yeckel CW. Relation between abdominal obesity and early-phase hyperglycemia is modulated by hepatic insulin resistance in healthy older women. Diabetes Care. 33:165-167, 2010.
  • Yeckel CW, Gulanski B, Zgorski ML, Dziura J, Parish R, and Sherwin RS. Simple exercise recovery index for sympathetic overactivity is linked to insulin resistance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 41(3):505-515, 2009.
  • DiPietro, L., Dziura, J., Yeckel, C.W., and Neufer, P.D. Exercise and Improved Insulin Sensitivity in Older Women: Evidence of the Enduring Benefits of Higher Intensity Training. Journal of Applied Physiology 100: 142-149, 2006.
  • Yeckel, C.W., Taksali, S.E., Dziura, J., Weiss, R., Burgert, T.S., Sherwin, R.S., Tamborlane, W.V., and Caprio, S. The Normal Glucose Tolerance Continuum in Obese Youth: Evidence for Impairment in b-cell Function Independent of Insulin Resistance. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 90(2): 747-754, 2005
  • Yeckel, C.W., Weiss, R., Dziura, J., Taksali, S.E., Dufour, S., Burgert, T.S., Tamborlane, W.V., and Caprio, S. Validation of Insulin Sensitivity Indices from Oral Glucose Tolerance Test Parameters in Obese Children and Adolescents. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 89(3): 1096-1101, 2004.
  • Weiss, R., Dziura, J., Burget, T.S., Taborlane, W.V., Taksali, S., Yeckel, C.W., Allen, K., Lopes, M., Savoye, M., Morrison, J., Sherwin, R., and Caprio, S. Obesity and the Metabolic Syndrome in Children and Adolescents. New England Journal of Medicine 350(23): 2362-2374, 2004.
  • Sheffield-Moore, M., Yeckel, C.W., Volpi, E., Wolf, S.E.,, Morio, B., Chinkes, D.L., Paddon-Jones, D., and Wolfe, R.R. Postexercise Protein Metabolism in Older and Younger Men Following Moderate-intensity Aerobic Exercise. American Journal of Physiology – Endocrinology and Metabolism 287(3): E513-E522, 2004.
  • Durham, W.J., Miller, S.L., Yeckel, C.W., Chinkes, D.L., Tipton, K.D., Rasmussen, B.B., and Wolfe, R.R. Leg Glucose and Protein Metabolism During an Acute Bout of Resistance Exercise in Humans. Journal of Applied Physics 97(4): 1379-1386, 2004.

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