Nada Abumrad, PhD
Dr. Robert C. Atkins Professor of Medicine and Obesity Research
The research of Dr. Abumrad’s group deals with the molecular mechanisms regulating utilization of fatty acids and how abnormalities in fatty acid metabolism can result in metabolic disease such as obesity and diabetes. She identified the plasma membrane protein CD36 as a facilitator of cellular fatty acid uptake and is now examining the role of CD36 in modulating tissue adaptation to nutrient fluctuations and other stresses. Mice models of tissue-specific variations in CD36 gene level are being studied but the goal is to translate findings in rodents to humans where polymorphisms in the CD36 gene are common. A current project in humans is exploring (in collaboration with Alan Permutt and Sam Klein) whether mutations in CD36 are associated with an increased risk of insulin resistance and diabetes.