Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Metabolic Syndrome Course
July 16-26, 2012

Welcome to the website for the Metabolic Syndrome Course.

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Welcome to a two-week short course entitled “An organ systems approach to experimental targeting of the Metabolic Syndrome.” The metabolic syndrome is a cluster of metabolic risk factors that when they occur together increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. These risk factors include insulin resistance, central obesity, dyslipidemia and hypertension. The Metabolic Syndrome is an epidemic and its prevalence is still on the rise. Clearly there is a need to understand the pathogenesis of the Metabolic Syndrome and learn ways to treat it.

The objective of the course will be to give students the tools needed to assess whether an experimental intervention (pharmacologic, genetic, dietary, or environmental) alters macronutrient metabolism, energy balance, cardiovascular homeostasis or animal behavior. Moreover students will learn how to measure whole body and tissue specific kinetics, the principals of which can be applied to the kinetics of drugs, substrates and hormones. To accomplish this, we will use a combination of lectures, hands on laboratories, demonstrations and data problem sessions. Three guiding principles thread through the course components. 1) organ systems do not function in isolation; 2) primary mechanisms can best be identified by disrupting compensatory feedback loops using tools such as a “glucose clamp”; 3) proper animal care is critical to good outcomes. With regard to the last, the privilege of animal research is accompanied by the responsibility of treating animals humanely. Students will learn that the quality of data obtained in animal models is directly related to the health and well-being of the animals. All procedures involving animals will follow USDA and AAALAC guidelines.

For questions, contact Owen McGuinness ( and/or
Fran Tripp (

Copyright © 2012 Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Last update: 01/16/2012