Scanning EM of isolated adipocytes. Courtesy of Dr. James Garrison

Metabolism research at UVA focuses on the study of all chemical reactions in an organism and how dysregultation of these processes contributes to disease.

These processes are tightly regulated under normal conditions to maintain homeostasis and ensure appropriate energy intake and fuel utilization.  Dysregulation of one or more fundamental metabolic processes causes alterations in glucose or lipid metabolism and transport, mitochondrial function, and cell signaling cascades that lead to chronic disease states such as obesity, diabetes, inflammation, and atherosclerosis.

The metabolism group at UVA actively investigates how and why these defects occur, with the ultimate goal of improving both preventative therapy and treatment.  The diverse expertise of the metabolism group provides training opportunities that utilize molecular and cellular biology in the context of whole animal physiology, drug discovery, and translational medicine.

Students in the metabolism group are supported by several institutional training grants including: Pharmacological Sciences Training Grant; Cell & Molecular Biology Training Grant; Neuroscience Training Program; and Biotechnology Training Program.


  • Stuart S. Berr
    Developing magnetic resonance (MR) techniques as a tool for basic biomedical research.
  • Michelle Bland
    Molecular mechanisms linking inflammation and insulin signaling to control cell growth and metabolism
  • Mete Civelek
    Systems Genetics Approaches to Understand Cardiometabolic Traits
  • Christopher Deppmann
    Elucidating and Understanding the Mechanisms Underlying Nervous System Development
  • Sarah E Ewald
    Innate immunity, chronic disease, host-parasite interactions
  • Charles R. Farber
    Systems Genetics of Skeletal Development and Maintenance
  • Adam N. Goldfarb
    Hematopathology and Understanding the Molecular Basis of Hematopoiesis and Leukemogenesis
  • Jennifer Guler
    Cell Biology and Parasitology.
  • Adrian J. Halme
    Regeneration and Systemic Responses to Tissue Damage
  • Thurl E Harris
    Molecular mechanisms controlling insulin signaling and fat synthesis.
  • Ku-Lung Hsu
    Lipid Metabolism in Inflammation and Immunity
  • Song Hu
    Photoacoustic imaging, light microscopy, neuroscience, microvascular biology
  • Brant Isakson
    Intercellular communication as it relates to blood pressure regulation
  • David F Kashatus
    The Role of Mitochondrial Fusion and Fission in Tumorigenesis.
  • Susanna R. Keller
    Insulin signaling, insulin-regulated membrane trafficking and associated changes in cellular function and whole body physiology
  • Melissa M. Kendall
    Mechanisms used by Bacterial Pathogens to Integrate Host- and Bacterial-derived Signals to Sense their Environment, Coordinate Gene Expression, and Cause Disease
  • Mark Kester
    Nanotechnologies for targeted drug delivery
  • Bijoy Kundu
    Positron Emission Tomography Imaging of Remodeling of Myocardial Glucose Metabolism in Pressure Overload Left Ventricular Hypertrophy
  • Gordon W. Laurie
    Role of Prosecretory Mitogen 'Lacritin' in Epithelial Homeostasis, Secretion and Innate Defense
  • Norbert Leitinger
    Role of lipid oxidation products in inflammation and vascular immunology in atherosclerosis and diabetes
  • Eyleen Jorgelina O'Rourke
    Obesity and Aging
  • Kodi S. Ravichandran
    Apoptotic cell clearance mechanisms in health and disease
  • Michele Sale
    Genetics of complex disease
  • Ira G. Schulman
    Regulation of transcription by nuclear hormone receptors, transcriptional control of metabolism, atherosclerosis, Small molecule approaches to drug discovery
  • Michael M. Scott
    Investigation of the neuronal circuits and epigenetic modifications involved in the control of food and drug reward
  • Jeffrey S. Smith
    Transcriptional Silencing and Aging in Yeast
  • Sundararaman Swaminathan
    Inflammation, fibrosis, progression of kidney disease, diabetic nephropathy, cardiovascular disease, pathologic calcification, kidney transplantation
  • W. Michael Wormington
    Regulation of miRNA Processing and Function During Oogenesis and Embryogenesis
  • Zhen Yan
    Molecular and signaling mechanisms of skeletal muscle plasticity.