Nada A. Abumrad, Ph.D.

Robert C. Atkins Professor of Obesity Research in Medicine
Internal Medicine
Nutritional Science

Molecular Cell Biology Program
Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology Program

  • 314-747-0348

  • 314-362-8206

  • 8031

  • 212 West Building


  • fatty acid, transport, disease risk

  • Fatty acids regulate energy balance and tissue renewal. Dysfunction of this regulation causes disease

Research Abstract:

Dr Abumrad’s group researches the molecular mechanisms underlying abnormalities in transport and utilization of fatty acids (FAs) by cells and how this can increase risk of disease. Fatty acids exert many of their effects through activating FA membrane receptors. The plasma membrane FA receptor protein CD36 is now an established mediator of cellular FA uptake and of FA-initiated intracellular signal transduction that impacts key cellular pathways. These pathways are critical for cell growth, adaptation to energy and other stresses. At the level of the tissue the FA-regulated pathways influence tissue ability for renewal and optimal maintenance. The group studies genetically modified cell systems and mouse models with cell specific deletion or overexpression of CD36.

In addition, to help translate findings in cells and rodents to humans, the Abumrad group mines large patient biobanks to explore associations between abnormal CD36 mRNA and risk of disease. So far significant associations were found between low tissue CD36 mRNA and the incidence of diabetes type 2, vascular dysfunction, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, and cognitive abnormalities. Ongoing studies are examining the molecular basis for disease association and whether rescue strategies can mitigate the effect of low CD36 mRNA in specific cells.

Mentorship and Commitment to Diversity Statement:

I have mentored numerous students and fellows who have moved on to highly successful careers in science. I prioritize mentoring and devote significant and consistent effort to it. Many of my mentees have been from various minority or ethnic groups and many were women. I strongly believe that the work environment should be positive and enjoyable for everyone, that all members should integrate well in the group and make an effort to be considerate and helpful to each other.

Selected Publications:

(1) Visceral obesity and insulin resistance associate with CD36 deletion in lymphatic endothelial cells. Cifarelli V, Appak-Baskoy S, Peche VS, Kluzak A, Shew T..Czepielewski R, Ivanov S, Randolph GJ, Augustin HG, Abumrad NA. Nature Commun 2021, 12:3350. PMID: 34099721, Free PMC:8184948.--------------------------------------------
(2) CD36 maintains the gastric mucosa and associates with gastric disease. Jacome-Sosa M, Miao ZF, Peche VS, Morris EF, Narendran R, Pietka KM, Samovski D, Lo HG, Pietka T, Goldenring JR, Kuda O, Gamazon ER, Mills JC, Abumrad NA. Commun Biol 2021, 4(1):1247. PMID:34728772, PMC:8563937.--------------------------------------
(3) Endothelial Cell Receptors in Tissue Lipid Uptake and Metabolism. Abumrad NA, Cabodevilla AG, Samovski D, Pietka T, Basu D, Goldberg IJ. Circulation Res. 2021, 128:433-450.PMID:33539224, PMC:7959116.--------------
(4) Structure-function of CD36 and importance of fatty acid signal transduction in fat metabolism. Pepino MY, Kuda O, Samovski D, Abumrad NA. Annu Rev Nutr. 2014, 34:281-303. PMID: 24850384. -----------------------------
(5) Variants in the CD36 gene associate with the metabolic syndrome and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Love-Gregory L, Sherva R .... Klein S, Neuman RJ, Permutt MA, Abumrad NA. Hum Mol Genet. 2008, 17:1695-704. PMID: 18305138. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(6) The fatty acid translocase gene CD36 and lingual lipase influence oral sensitivity to fat in obese subjects. Pepino MY, Love-Gregory L, Klein S, Abumrad NA. Lipid Res. 2012 53:561-6. PMID: 22210925.---------------

Last Updated: 4/4/2022 4:13:05 PM

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