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Makowski Lab Summer 2014

The Makowski lab studies mechanisms through which metabolic reprogramming of immune cells alters the progression of diseases including obesity and cancer. Our primary interest is to investigate how macrophage biology is influenced by fuel sources, such as glucose or fatty acids. Ultimately, linking immune cell biology and metabolism to novel pathways opens new therapeutic targets to a variety of diseases associated with inflammation and obesity. We have focused on the following themes to build such a program: 1) diet exposure and effects on inflammation; 2) manipulating fuel metabolism in immune cells; 3) examining supporting cells in the microenvironment, called the stroma, in cancer risk and progression; and 4) harnessing metabolomic technology to understand how metabolism may influence cell biology. Findings from these studies should provide targeted strategies through dietary interventions or pharmacologic therapies to translate into novel avenues of prevention and treatment. The list of chronic diseases addressed by our research includes obesity, diabetes, atherosclerosis, and obesity-driven cancers.