The prevalence of obesity, diabetes, dyslipidemias, non-alcoholic liver diseases and other metabolism-related disorders increases with age and changes in lifestyle, and is emerging as a major economic and social burden.

These disorders have a causal role in liver, digestive and cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and other age-related chronic diseases, and therefore are an important cause of morbidity. These disorders may have an extended subclinical course, i.e. before the actual diagnosis is made.

Because treatment of the end-organ damage associated with these diseases is difficult and often leads to permanent and significant loss of quality of life, focus on prevention and early detection is crucial. Understanding the physiological, pathophysiological, and developmental basis of these diseases is necessary for the identification of interventional targets and for the design of novel evidence-based strategies to prevent, treat or deal with the consequences of these diseases.

We study relevant mechanisms throughout the life span, including prenatal life, in order to understand the contribution of diet and metabolic programming to these diseases. These mechanisms include:

  • transport and processing of proteins, lipids and metabolites;
  • gene regulation and signaling networks;
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Relevance

Developing treatment strategies for obesity-related metabolic disorders

We research cellular mechanisms to develop treatment strategies for age and obesity-related metabolic disorders.

We generate novel hypotheses using human genetics, human cohorts/biobanking and systems biology and validate these using advanced mouse and cellular models.