Rachel Perry, PhD
Research & Publications
Dr. Rachel Perry is an Assistant Professor in Medicine/Endocrinology and Cellular & Molecular Physiology at the Yale University School of Medicine. Rachel's background is in the use of hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamps and stable isotope infusions to assess insulin sensitivity, having earned her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering, Ph.D. (with Distinction) in Cellular & Molecular Physiology, and performed her postdoctoral training in Medicine/Endocrinology, all in the laboratory of Dr. Gerald Shulman. Rachel's CV includes first-author papers in Nature, Cell (2), Science, JCI, PNAS, Nature Medicine (2), PNAS, Nature Communications (3), JBC, Cell Metabolism (2), and AJP-Endocrinology.
The Perry laboratory focuses on applying stable isotope tracer methods to understand obesity- and insulin-associated alterations in metabolic flux pathways. Dr. Perry and her colleagues have recently identified hyperinsulinemia-induced increases in tumor glucose uptake and oxidation as a critical driver of colon cancer in two mouse models of the disease, and mitochondrial uncoupling as a potential therapeutic strategy against the disease (Wang et al. Cell Reports 2018, Nasiri et al. Cancer & Metabolism 2019), and went on to show that responsiveness to insulin is a metabolic signature of obesity-associated tumor types in vitro (Rabin-Court et al. PLoS One 2019).
Current projects in the Perry lab include:
1. What is the molecular mechanism by which obesity and hyperinsulinemia promote tumor growth? How does insulin alter rates of glycolytic, oxidative, and anaplerotic metabolism? Can we invent better tracer methods than currently exist, allowing us to reliably measure rates of these pathways in vivo?
2. What is the impact of exercise, a classic insulin-sensitizing intervention, on obesity-associated tumor growth - and what is the mechanism?
3. Are alterations in tumor immunometabolism permissive for tumor progression? How does cancer therapy alter substrate preference in immune cells? Can we exploit systemic metabolic changes to enhance anti-cancer immunity?
4. How do tumor metabolism and immunometabolism differ - in rate and regulation - in metastases as compared to primary tumor?
5. What drives the changes in glucose metabolism commonly observed in inflammation that occurs following various stimuli? (Close collaboration with Dr. Andrew Wang's lab.)
Education & Training
- Postdoctoral FellowYale University (2017)
- PhDYale University Graduate School, Cellular & Molecular Physiology (2013)
- An iMOONSHOT Approach to Understand the Links between Obesity, Immunometabolism, and CancerConnecting the Dots Conference on Diabetes and Cancer meeting (keynote address) 2021An iMOONSHOT Approach to Understand the Links between Obesity, Immunometabolism, and Cancer
- Metabolism and Cancer: Unraveling a Tangled WebTalk was given live, virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic 2021Metabolism and Cancer: Unraveling a Tangled Web
Honors & Recognition
|New Investigator Award||American Physiological Society||2023|
|Translational Science Research Prize||Yale Cancer Center||2022|
|Young Investigator Award||Melanoma Research Alliance||2021|
|Rising Stars of Cancer Metabolism and Signaling Award||New York Academy of Sciences||2021|
|Kingsley Fellow||2020, 2021, 2022|
|Breakthrough of the Year||Yale Cancer Signaling Networks Program||2019|
|Translational Science Research Prize||Yale Cancer Center||2018|
|Postdoc of the Year||Journal of Postdoctoral Research||2017|
|Postdoc of the Month||Journal of Postdoctoral Research||2017|
|Blavatnik Award for Young Scientists, Finalist||Blavatnik Family Foundation||2016|
|Bouchet Graduate Honor Society Membership||2016|
|Ph.D. with Distinction||2013|
Departments & Organizations
- Cancer Signaling Networks
- Cellular & Molecular Physiology
- Diabetes Research Center
- Internal Medicine
- Janeway Society
- Liver Center
- Molecular Medicine, Pharmacology, and Physiology
- Yale Cancer Center
- Yale Center for Immuno-Oncology
- Yale Center for Molecular and Systems Metabolism (YMSM)
- Yale Combined Program in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS)