Nebraska Center for the Prevention of Obesity Diseases through Dietary Molecules. Janos Zempleni , Ph.D. Dept. of Nutrition and Health Sciences, UNL. NPOD Mission.
Nebraska Center for the Prevention
of Obesity Diseases through
Janos Zempleni, Ph.D.
Dept. of Nutrition and Health Sciences, UNL
It is the mission of NPOD to discover mechanisms through which dietary molecules prevent obesity-related diseases, particularly cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and to devise intervention strategies for the prevention of these diseases.
Obesity among U.S. Adults, CDC 2010
No Data <10% 10%–14% 15%–19% 20%–24% 25%–29% ≥30%
(*BMI ≥30, or ~ 30 lbs. overweight for 5’ 4” person)
Age-adjusted percentage of adults aged ≥20 years with diagnosed diabetes, 2007
Heart Disease hospitalization rates among U.S. Adults, CDC 2000 - 2006
NIH’s Response to this Crisis
NIH Strategic Plan for Obesity Research, 2011
2011 NIH program announcements
NIH PA-11-165:“Heart failuredemands more effectivelow-cost management
approaches […]dietary factors and nutritionaldeficiencies areknown to
cause heart failure in humans as well.”
NIH PA-11-170:“Type 2 diabetes studies should assess the mechanisms of
developmental programming, epigenetic changes, genetic background,
nutrition, the microbiome, and inflammation that lead to diabetes.”
NPOD is Unique
Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence on
NPOD’s Map to Success
Nebraska Gateway for Nutrigenomics
Mid-term goal: advance to Center status
Specific Aim 1
Establish an NPOD administrative core of personnel and programs that support and enhance the Center’s research.
Administrative Core – the Edge
- Global Timeline -
Specific Aim 2
Develop a critical mass of faculty through the support of five thematically linked primary research projects, a strong mentoring program for junior investigators, and through support of two essential research core facilities and a pilot grant program.
Lipoic acid signaling,
ω-3 fatty acids,
Tenure track appointments
Identified through an open competition
Anti-lipemic Signaling Mechanisms of
R-α-Lipoic Acid (LA)
Regis Moreau, Ph.D.Assistant ProfessorDepartment of Nutrition and Health SciencesUniversity of Nebraska-Lincoln
Novel Molecular Targets of LA
Lipogenic genesACC, FAS, GPAT1, DGAT2
Fibroblast growth factor-21 (FGF21) mediates the lipolytic properties of LA.
(Tf = Transcription factor)
LA downregulates SREBP1c-mediated transcription of lipogenic genes through inactivation mTORC1 (mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1)
Redox Signaling and SelenoproteinsAlter Diabetes Risk
Dmitri Fomenko, Ph.D.Assistant ProfessorDepartment of Biochemistry and Redox Biology CenterUniversity of Nebraska-Lincoln
Redoxstress, impaired H2O2 signaling
Type I and II diabetes
Signals of the Gut Microbiome that Ameliorate the Obesity Phenotype
Samodha Fernando, Ph.D.Assistant ProfessorDepartment of Animal ScienceUniversity of Nebraska-Lincoln
Kinross et al.Genome Medicine 2011 3:14
Fetal Programming of Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes
Jennifer Wood, Ph.D.Assistant ProfessorDepartment of Animal Science
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Oviduct/ In vitro
Role of PXR Signaling in Mediating the Cardioprotective Effects of -3 Fatty Acids
SaraswathiViswanathan, Ph.D.Assistant ProfessorDepartment of Internal Medicine/DEMUniversity of Nebraska Medical Center-Omaha
-3 Fatty Acids
(EPA & DHA)
Synergies Among Center Projects
Example 1: Lipoic acid is an ω-substituted fatty acid
Are Moreau/Viswanathan looking at the same
Example 2: The intake of lipoate, methyl donors, andfatty acids are distinct between enterotypes
Collaborations of Fernando with Moreau, Wood,and Viswanathan?
Pilot Grant Programs
Computational and Data Sharing Core
Specific Aim 3
Increase research capacity through targeted recruitment of five researchers in areas key to Center success.
Specific Aim 4
Graduate from IDeA program funding as a self-sustainable center of research excellence through the development of program projects and collaborative research grants.