Deborah Marie Muoio
Professor of Medicine

Dr. Deborah Muoio is an Associate Professor in the Sarah. W. Stedman Nutrition and Metabolism Center, with appointments in the Departments of Medicine and Pharmacology & Cancer Biology. Her laboratory investigates mechanisms of metabolic regulation in skeletal muscle, with emphasis on molecular events that link overnutrition and inactivity to the development of insulin resistance. Her program features a multidisciplinary approach that combines integrative physiology and intermediary metabolism with cellular and molecular biochemistry, using model systems that range from primary human myocytes to genetically engineered mice. Recent studies by her research team have employed mass spectrometry-based metabolomics as a tool to understand the interplay between mitochondrial energetics and insulin action. Emergent findings from this work suggest that obesity-associated glucose intolerance stems from excessive β-oxidation and lipid-induced mitochondrial stress. Ongoing studies seek to identify signaling mechanisms that mediate crosstalk between muscle mitochondria and glucose regulatory pathways, with the goal of realizing new therapeutic opportunities for treating metabolic diseases. Three main project areas of her laboratory include: 1) mechanisms that link lipid oversupply to mitochondrial malfunction and insulin resistance in skeletal muscle, 2) mechanisms through which exercise enhances mitochondrial function, lipid tolerance and insulin sensitivity, and 3) translational studies to examine the impact of diet and/or exercise interventions on metabolic regulation and mitochondrial function in human skeletal muscle. This research is supported by grants from the NIH and the American Diabetes Association.

Current Appointments and Affiliations

Contact Information

  • 300 North Duke Street, Durham, NC 27701
  • Duke Box 104775, Durham, NC 27710

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