Catherine Yeckel, PhD

Assistant Professor of Epidemiology (Environmental Health)

Research Departments & Organizations

School of Public Health

Obesity Research Working Group

Office of Cooperative Research

Research Interests

Adipose Tissue, Brown; Autonomic Nervous System; Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2; Insulin Resistance; Metabolic Syndrome; Obesity; Romania

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.

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

Extensive Research Description

  • 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): Integration nutrient sensing pathways


  • Cardiovascular risk in Romania Romania (2009)

    Examination of blood pressure reactivity to cold pressor test in region of low-to-moderate inorganic arsenic in drinking water.

  • Low birth weight in Romania Romania (2009)

    Effects of inter-individual differences in inorganic arsenic metabolism on low birth weight outcome

Selected Publications

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Contact Info

Catherine Yeckel, PhD
Office Location
135 College Street, Ste 200
New Haven, CT 06510
Mailing Address
Environmental Health SciencesPO Box 208034
60 College Street

New Haven, CT 06520-8034