NIH funding to Marcel den Hoed


Marcel den Hoed is co-applicant in a project that was recently awarded a grant from the American NIH. The project will address the link between obesity and cardiometabolic complications and is a collaboration between researchers from USA, UK and Sweden.

The project, led by Ruth Loos at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City, aims to increase our understanding of the link between adiposity and cardiometabolic complications. Most studies have so far focused on the paradigm of obese unhealthy animal models and patients. Results suggest that defects in adipogenesis, adipose tissue expandability, adipocyte differentiation, fat distribution, ectopic fat accumulation, and response to endocrine secretions play a role.

The research team, that besides Ruth Loos consists of co-applicants Ron Do (Mount Sinai), Toni Vidal-Puig (University of Cambridge) and Marcel den Hoed (IGP and SciLifeLab), will investigate the paradox that some obese individuals are protected from metabolic complications longer than expected based on their adiposity level, while some normal weight individuals suffer from such complications.

The studies that will be performed during the next four years aim to: 1) identify genetic variants associated with higher adiposity and lower cardiometabolic risk, and vice versa; 2) prioritise candidate genes in identified loci using state-of-the-art functional annotations (both Mount Sinai); and 3) characterise likely causal genes using human induced pluripotent stem cell (Cambridge) and zebrafish (Uppsala) model systems.

    Marcel den Hoed

By solving the obesity paradox, the research team hopes to better understand the biology that underlies glucose and lipid metabolism, and provide new targets for therapeutic strategies and diagnostic/prognostic biomarkers.

For his part of the project Marcel den Hoed will receive a grant of USD 460 000 for four years.

More information about Marcel den Hoeds research