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Metabolism expert Lazar set for next Discovery Lecture

Sep. 12, 2019, 10:00 AM


by Leigh MacMillan

Endocrinologist Mitchell Lazar, MD, PhD, known for his work on the genetic regulation of metabolism, will deliver the next Flexner Discovery Lecture on Thursday, Sept. 19.

Mitchell Lazar, MD, PhD

His lecture, “Nuclear Receptors, Circadian Rhythms, and Metabolism,” will begin at 4 p.m. in 208 Light Hall. It is the Irwin Eskind Lecture in Biomedical Sciences sponsored by the Vanderbilt Diabetes Center.

Lazar is the Willard and Rhoda Ware Professor in Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases and director of the Institute for Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.

Lazar and his team study how nuclear receptors regulate gene expression related to metabolism. They have a particular interest in how harmful environmental factors like fattening diets, insufficient physical activity and round-the-clock exposure to light overcome genetic regulatory mechanisms and contribute to diabetes and obesity.

The researchers focus on two nuclear receptors: Rev-erb-alpha, which responds to circadian rhythms, and PPAR-gamma, a master regulator of fat cell biology and the target for thiazolidinedione drugs used to treat Type 2 diabetes.

Lazar has received numerous awards including the 2019 Rolf Luft Award from the Karolinska Institute, and he is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.

For a complete schedule of Flexner Discovery Lectures and archived video of previous lectures, go to

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