Pilot & Feasibility 2019-2020

Three new pilot projects have been selected for funding in the Center’s most recent competitive cycle.

Melanie Schorr Haines, MD
Assistant in Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital
Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School
“Effects of exercise on circulating myokine levels in insulin-resistant vs insulin-sensitive adults with overweight/obesity”
In response to exercise, muscle synthesizes and secretes myokines, which are an important mediator of the beneficial metabolic effects of exercise, and may therefore be potential therapeutic targets in the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes.  We hypothesize that exercise-induced changes in circulating myokine levels will be attenuated in insulin-resistant compared to insulin-sensitive adults with overweight/obesity.  Thirty subjects – 15 with insulin resistance and 15 without insulin resistance will undergo cardiopulmonary exercise testing with blood samples taken before and after exercise for serum myokine levels.

Sarah Lessard, PhD
Assistant Professor/Assistant Investigator, Joslin Diabetes Center, Inc.
“Impact of Western Diet on the molecular and physiological response to exercise”
There has been a worldwide shift toward consumption of a Western Diet characterized by high intake of processed sugars and fats. This project will use mouse models to test the hypothesis that a Western Diet can blunt health improvements that normally occur with exercise by altering the molecular signals induced in muscle with each session of acute exercise.

Dong Wang, MB, MS, ScD
Research Scientist, President and Fellows of Harvard College
“Mediterranean Diet, Gut Microbiome and Cardiac Structure and Function”
This research will test whether the gut microbiome modifies the effects of the Mediterranean diet for delaying the age-related changes in cardiac structure and function in a randomized controlled dietary trial. We will also explore the mechanisms that link the Mediterranean diet, gut microbiome, and cardiac structure and function be examining gut microbiota-linked metabolites and intestinal permeability.