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OPENing THE DOOR TO PREVENTION
Basic Research in CHORI's Center for the Prevention of Obesity, Cardiovascular Disease & Diabetes

Basic research forms the backbone of translational research, providing the scientific insight necessary to open the door to novel prevention and treatment strategies. Representing the cross-disciplinary innovation for which CHORI is known, basic researchers in the Center for Prevention of Obesity, Cardiovascular Disease & Diabetes (CPOCD) take a variety of approaches to understanding the underlying causes of obesity and related diseases.

A biochemist who has made seminal contributions in the characterization of the enzyme fatty acid synthase, Stuart Smith, PhD, DSC, currently conducts research on the structural analysis of this enzyme, which is critical for the conversion of dietary carbohydrate into fat. Dr. Smithís structural analyses are aimed toward the rational design of anti-obesity agents, and future plans include identification of mutations in the gene encoding fatty acid synthase that may protect against obesity.

Robert Ryan, PhD, is a biochemist and biophysicist whose research focuses on understanding how lipid transport and metabolism are regulated by molecular interactions, such as apoliprotein-mediated regulation of lipid metabolic enzymes and interactions between lipoproteins and cell surface receptors. With the insight gained from Dr. Ryanís research, the mechanisms of pathologic changes in lipoprotein metabolism associated with increased heart disease risk could be unraveled, creating the potential for the design of novel treatment approaches.

Drs. Michael Oda, PhD and Vasanthy Narayanaswami, PhD are biochemical researchers whose work targets understanding critical aspects of cholesterol and could provide invaluable insight into potential cholesterol management tools. A main focus of Dr. Oda's work is the identification of specific regions of the principle protein of HDL ("good cholesterol") particles that could contribute to removal of cholesterol from arteries, while Dr. Narayanaswami investigates how apoE functions in facilitating delivery and removal of cholesterol to tissues.

These are but a few of the many researchers in the CPOCD striving to significantly contribute to existing knowledge regarding the underlying causes and possible means for prevention of obesity and related diseases. Explore the links in the sidebar menu to discover all the ways in which CHORIís CPOCD contributes to basic research in obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes across the globe.

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