A Heart-Liver-Adipose Axis: the role of inter-organ crosstalk in cardiometabolic risk.

Project: SFRN


  • Evan Dale Abel (CD)


This Center represents a collaborative effort bringing together cardiovascular investigators at the University of Iowa, the Massachusetts General Hospital, the University of Massachusetts and the University of Michigan. The goal of the Center is to elucidate and validate novel mechanisms of inter-tissue and inter-organ communication that contribute to cardiometabolic risk inT2D. Studies will focus on adipose tissue and liver as important sources of signals that regulate systemic metabolism and insulin sensitivity to modulate cardiovascular risk. The studies will encompass basic investigation, clinical and population studies. Each project will pursue discreet specific aims that will be thematically linked, and interrelated with studies in other projects. Three projects are proposed. The SFRN will oversee a robust Fellows Training Programs, that will identify trainees nominated from the participating institutions who will be mentored by the Principal Investigators in basic, clinical or population projects respectively. These programs will benefit from the existence of deep and multifaceted post-doctoral training infrastructure in our respective institutions with strong portfolios of T32 training grants. The Basic Project (PI-Ethan Anderson, Ph.D.) will use preclinical mechanistic models to identify novel liver, adipose tissue or muscle-derived factors that modulate metabolism and CVD risk. The Clinical Project (PI- Saumya Das, MD, Ph.D.) will analyze extracellular vesicles and their cargo from subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue in obese subjects before and after bariatric surgery. Novel mediators will be tested using innovative tissue-on-chip methodology. The Population Project (PI-Ravi Shah) will determine proteomics signatures of dysfunctional adiposity and their relation to metabolomics and subclinical CVD in the CARDIA study. The Center will establish outreach to non-research intensive universities by integrating our training programs with the University of Iowas FUTURE in biomedicine program that for the past 11 years has fostered collaborations between University of Iowa faculty and faculty and students from regional liberal arts colleges, who will spend a summer semester in a sabbatical working with a member of the SFRN investigative team.
Award amount$580,804.00
Award date01/01/2020
Program typeStrategically Focused Research Network
Award ID20SFRN35120123
Effective start/end date01/01/202012/31/2023