Vanderbilt Institute for Obesity & Metabolism

Metabolic & Cardiovascular Disease



  Alan Cherrington  Macrae Linton  John Stafford
  Sergio Fazio  Amy Major  Larry Swift
  Charles Flynn  Owen McGuinness  Luc Van Kaer
  Tahar Hajri  Richard O'Brien  David Wasserman
  Alyssa Hasty Masakazu Shiota  Hong Yang

The Metabolic & Cardiovascular Disease Research Group has strong programs across aspects of the metabolic syndrome, including dyslipidemia and atherosclerosis, hypertension and diabetes.

The collaborative team of Larry Swift, Sergio Fazio, Mac Linton, and Alyssa Hasty is well known for their work on lipoprotein metabolism and inflammation in atherosclerosis and obesity. Dr. Yong is a new investigator at Meharry Medical College who is also focused on ApoE, and has collaborated with the group.

Dr. Hasty studies the mechanisms underlying white adipose tissue macrophage infiltration and inflammation in obesity.  This effort in adipocyte biology is joined by Dr. Swift,  who in addition to the collaborative work with Drs. Fazio and Linton studies microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTP) and its role in the maturation and expansion of lipid droplets within the adipocyte.  Two new investigators, Drs. Flynn and Stafford, study liver function.  Dr. Flynn, is focused on metabolic effects of lipid deposition in the liver and muscle, while Dr. Stafford investigates the effects of insulin resistance on hepatic lipoprotein metabolism.   Drs. Van Kaer and Major are immunologists and collaborators who further expand the theme of inflammation in obesity and nutrition-related disease.  Dr. Major is studying the phenomenon of accelerated atherosclerosis in Lupus using a mouse model of the disease.  Dr. Van Kaer studies the role of iNKT cells in atherosclerosis and obesity-induced insulin-resistance.


Diabetes investigators specifically studying the role between obesity, diet, and the development of insulin resistance and diabetes include Drs. Cherrington, McGuiness, O'Brien and Wasserman.