The Institute Of Human Nutrition

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Faculty and Staff

Nutritional and Metabolic Doctoral Training Faculty

Rudolph L. LeibelRudolph L. Leibel, M.D.

Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine
Director, Division of Molecular Genetics and the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center



A.B., 1963 Colgate University
M.D., 1967 Albert Einstein College of Medicine 


Research Interests

Dr. Leibel's research focuses on the genetics of obesity and non-insulin dependent diabetes.  His laboratory has mapped, cloned and identified mutations in the obese and fatty genes in rats, mice, and more recently in humans.  The obese gene encodes leptin, an adipose derived hormone responsible for regulating body weight, whereas the fatty gene encodes the leptin receptor.  Currently his research group is defining the physiological bases by which this, and related signaling networks regulate body size and composition.  For example, changes in leptin production following reduction in body fat might play a role in the metabolic changes that accompany weight loss in humans.  Dr. Leibel's laboratory also is working to isolate additional rodent genes that influence body weight and the susceptibility to non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus in the context of obesity.  Lab members have extended their genetic studies to search for similar obesity and diabetes related genes in human families.


Recent Publications - Pubmed

Rosenbaum M, Murphy E, Heymsfield SB, Matthews DE, Leibel RL. Low dose leptin administration reverses effects of sustained weight-reduction on energy expenditure and circulating concentrations of thyroid hormones. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 87:2391-4, 2002.

Phan LK, Feng L, LeDuca CA,, Chung WK, Leibel RL. The mouse mahoganoid (md) coat color mutation disrupts a novel C3HC4 Ring domain protein. J Clin Invest 110:1449-1460, 2002.

Weisberg SP, McCann D, Desai M, Rosenbaum M, Leibel RL, Ferrante A. Obesity is associated with macrophage accumulation in adipose tissue. J Clin Invest 112:1796-1803, 2003.

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