The Institute Of Human Nutrition

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Faculty and Staff

Nutritional and Metabolic Doctoral Training Faculty

Richard J. DeckelbaumRichard J. Deckelbaum, M.D.

(Chair) Robert R. Williams Professor of Nutrition, Professor of Pediatrics and
Professor of Epidemiology; Director, Institute of Human Nutrition



B.Sc. 1963, McGill University
MD, CM, 1967, McGill University


Research Interests

A major focus of Dr. Deckelbaum's laboratory is to determine regulatory mechanisms for cell-lipid particle interaction, cell cholesterol and triglyceride metabolism, and gene expression related to cardiovascular disease. Dr. Deckelbaum's laboratory has demonstrated that substantial amounts of lipoproteins and lipid emulsions can enter cells by receptor independent pathways. Integrated with these studies are studies on how different lipids, especially free fatty acids and various sphingolipids modulate sterol regulatory element binding protein (SREBP) mediated gene expression, focus on genes affecting cell and whole body triglycerides and cholesterol homeostasis. Recent research in Dr. Deckelbaum's research group focuses on defining mechanisms whereby acute administration of omega-3 glycerides provides tissue "protection" after acute injury in different organs including heart and brain.


Other significant areas of interest have included: a) the role of triglyceride fatty acyl composition on modulating interaction of model lipid triglyceride-rich particles with apoprotein E and subsequent effects on cell and tissue metabolism in vitro, and in vivo, in mouse models. Dr. Deckelbaum's group is demonstrating that triglyceride-rich particles enriched in long chain omega-3 triglycerides do not enter tissues via classic receptor-dependent pathways but rather via other mechanisms which might relate to binding to non-receptor domains on the cell surface, such as phagocytosis or pinocytosis, and b) the actions of free fatty acids as potent regulators of a number of critical steps in cell lipid metabolism, via inhibition of expression mediated by sterol regulatory elements (SRE) in the promoter regions of lipid metabolism genes. Dr. Deckelbaum also coordinates programs related to the effects of varying nutrient intakes on expression of cardiovascular risk factors in children of different genetic backgrounds in both national and international studies. Overall, an important objective of Dr. Deckelbaum's program is to develop investigators who can translate basic nutritional questions into basic lipid and cellular biology.


To view all publications, please visit Pubmed at"Deckelbaum RJ"[au]

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