Exploring the Intersection Between Dietary Lipids, Inflammation, and Metabolic Disease

Obesity, diabetes type 2, atherosclerosis, and fatty liver disease exact a huge toll on society. 

The Koliwad Lab investigates the role of chronic tissue inflammation in these and other common, yet devastating metabolic diseases.

The excess consumption of dietary fats, particularly those made up of saturated and trans fatty acids, can produce toxic effects on tissues throughout the body. A specialized form of "lipotoxicity" affects myeloid cells of the innate immune system. This myeloid-specific lipotoxicity produces a response that combines classical (M1) inflammatory activation, ER stress, and programmed cell death, a constellation of events that fuels a chronic low-grade inflammation that promotes tissue dysfunction in diet-induced obesity.

We are probing the mechanisms by which fatty acids modulate the function of macrophages, dendritic cells, CNS microglia and specialized tissue mononuclear cells in order to learn how to limit the development of diet-induced tissue inflammation and serious metabolic diseases.