gramslab1gramslab2gramslab3

Major Research Interests

Our laboratory focuses on understanding the physiology of obesity and metabolic and weight loss surgery (bariatric surgery). Obesity is an epidemic with an overall prevalence of 36.5 percent among US adults, and it has tremendous medical and socioeconomic impact. Obesity affects virtually every organ and is associated with medical problems such as type II diabetes, dyslipidemia, hypertension, obstructive sleep apnea, chronic kidney disease; it is associated with an increased risk of some cancers and mortality.

Bariatric surgery is the most effective and durable treatment of obesity and obesity-associated medical problems. However, the underlying mechanisms of weight loss and improvement in overall health after bariatric surgery remain less clear. We use in vitro and in vivo models to investigate the mechanisms of action of bariatric surgery. Current studies are underway to determine the impact of bariatric surgery on the skeleton using a rodent model. The laboratory also is interested in understanding the interplay between the gut and brain, particularly since bariatric surgery has been associated with changes in the “baristat,” decreased hunger and increased satiety, alterations in food preference, and an increased prevalence of addiction. It is hoped our work will identify novel therapeutic agents that effect weight loss and improve metabolic function in patients with obesity.

Additional Research Activities

In addition an active basic research laboratory, Dr. Grams has multiple clinical studies involving patients after bariatric surgery. Her clinical area of expertise is in foregut and metabolic and bariatric surgery.