UCLA’s Metabolism Campaign aims to better understand the metabolic system and develop novel diagnostic tools and therapies.
At age 37, Dawn began the UCLA Risk Factor Obesity (RFO) program. She weighed 300 pounds and had struggled with obesity for 18 years. “I was on five different prescription medications for a variety of conditions,” Dawn says. “I was scared, tired, and in constant physical discomfort. I truly felt helpless and hopeless. I believed that I was going to die too early.”
Dawn’s story is a common one. The prevalence of diseases caused by changes in metabolism is increasing at an alarming rate. There is an urgent need for new therapies to control blood sugar and lipid levels and help people achieve and maintain healthy bodyweight. With the RFO program, UCLA was one of the first universities to perform research and clinically practice the use of very low calorie diets to treat severe obesity. During three years in the program, Dawn lost 150 pounds and is no longer on any medications. She explains, “I know that the UCLA RFO program provided me with the opportunity to save my own life.”
Advances in molecular biology and human genetics, combined with the clinical expertise and the diverse patient population of UCLA Health, are providing unprecedented opportunities for multidisciplinary teams of researchers to address the critical health problems caused by metabolic disorders. The mission of the Metabolism Campaign Initiative at David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA is to understand how metabolic pathways contribute to human diseases such as diabetes and obesity and how these pathways can be harnessed for diagnosis, prevention, and therapy.
UCLA’s Metabolism Campaign Initiative aims to translate basic science discoveries to patient care in several areas, including the control of body weight, the link between metabolism and cancer, and gender differences in the susceptibility to metabolic diseases. To catalyze these efforts, we are establishing the UCLA Institute for Molecular Metabolism, to be housed in the newly renovated UCLA Center for Health Sciences.
We seek your partnership in the effort to help the millions of individuals struggling with diabetes, obesity, and other metabolic disorders. Join the cause.
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