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Matthew Rodeheffer, PhD

Associate Professor Tenure

Contact Information

Matthew Rodeheffer, PhD

Mailing Address

  • Comparative Medicine

    PO Box 208016

    New Haven, CT, 06520-8016

    United States

Research Summary

Obesity, which is defined as an excessive increase in white adipose tissue (fat) mass, is one of the leading public health concerns of the 21st century. The relevance of obesity as a public health concern is due to two main factors 1) the rates of obesity have increased over the last thirty years and today almost one third of the adult population in the U.S. is classified as obese, and 2) obesity is associated with several other health conditions, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some forms of cancer.

Despite the importance of fat in human disease our understanding of the regulation of fat mass is limited. The research in my laboratory is directed toward elucidating the molecular mechanisms that regulate fat mass and contribute to the development of obesity and obesity associated pathologies. Specifically, we focus on identifying and characterizing fat progenitor and stem cells and the molecular processes that control the differentiation of these cells into mature, lipid-filled fat cells.

We take several approaches to accomplish our research goals, employing several mouse models of human disease, human primary cell culture, genomic and proteomic techniques and developing novel mouse models for the study of fat regulation. Determining how the growth of fat is regulated may lead to the development of novel therapeutics for the treatment of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Specialized Terms: Genomics; Stem Cells

Extensive Research Description

Obesity, which is defined as an excessive increase in white adipose tissue (fat) mass, is one of the leading public health concerns of the 21st century. The relevance of obesity as a public health concern is due to two main factors 1) the rates of obesity have increased over the last thirty years and today almost one third of the adult population in the U.S. is classified as obese, and 2) obesity is associated with several other health conditions, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some forms of cancer.

Despite the importance of fat in human disease our understanding of the regulation of fat mass is limited. The research in my laboratory is directed toward elucidating the molecular mechanisms that regulate fat mass and contribute to the development of obesity and obesity associated pathologies. Specifically, we focus on identifying and characterizing fat progenitor and stem cells and the molecular processes that control the differentiation of these cells into mature, lipid-filled fat cells.

We take several approaches to accomplish our research goals, employing several mouse models of human disease, human primary cell culture, genomic and proteomic techniques and developing novel mouse models for the study of fat regulation. Determining how the growth of fat is regulated may lead to the development of novel therapeutics for the treatment of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Coauthors

Research Interests

Metabolic Diseases; Stem Cells; Genomics; Overnutrition

Selected Publications