Our group has been interested in the genetic and epigenetic regulation of diabetes and cancer. In collaborating with colleagues at City of Hope, the lab has developed methods to increase cell delivery of anti-tumor agents, including miRNA (CpG-miR26a), to treat hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and diabetes.
We also study bile acid signaling in the gastrointestinal tract and its relationship to obesity/diabetes. The team found that certain bile acid modifications contribute to the sustained weight loss and glucose homeostasis obtained after bariatric surgery, providing mechanistic insight into how the surgical procedure improves health. Further, bile acid receptors FXR and TGR5 being interrogated as possible mediators of the anti-diabetes effect of bariatric surgery.
Another direction of our research is to understand the role of the gut microbiota in diabetes and cancer. We focus on the interactions between gut microbiota and bile acids as this appears to be important for metabolic regulation.