James Hamilton Ph.D.

Physiology and Biophysics

Office: 700 Albany St, W-Cab
Phone: 617-638-5048
Email: jhamilt@bu.edu

Research:

Dr. Hamilton’s laboratory is developing and applying novel physical approaches to the study of obesity, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease. 13C NMR methods pioneered in his laboratory have been used to describe the interactions of fatty acids and drugs with binding sites on albumin, and new studies are currently correlating important details predicted by NMR with recent x-ray crystal structure. New fluorescence approaches have been developed to characterize the diffusion of fatty acids into adipocytes and evaluate the effects of drugs and inhibitors on fatty acid uptake. A newer focus of research is the application of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to examine fat tissue and atherosclerosis. These studies in collaboration with Drs. Genco and Wong extend from animal models (mouse and rabbit) to humans. Studies of subjects with metabolic syndrome and obesity explore the hypothesis that a unifying feature of metabolic syndrome is enhanced deposition of lipids throughout the body outside of the normal adipose stores. MR imaging can identify and quantify site-specific abnormalities in obese patients such as cardiac functions. Animal studies of atherosclerosis employ imaging of live mice to follow inflammation and therapies in a single animal over a long period of time. A rabbit model of plaque rupture and thrombosis is being studied to develop MRI for prediction of unstable and high-risk plaques. In humans with advanced carotid atherosclerosis who are undergoing endarterectomy, MRI is being utilized in vivo and ex vivo to define inflammation and plaque vulnerability.

Affiliated Websites:

Physiology and Biophysics Webpage