Research Headlines

Congratulations to Ian Williams for Receiving the Founder's Medal!


Each year during Commencement, Vanderbilt University recognizes one individual from each of its 10 schools with a Founder’s Medal. This year’s awardee from the Graduate School is Ian Williams from the lab of David Wasserman (Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, MPB). A California native, Williams has spent his years in the Wasserman laboratory studying vascular biology, and will continue to pursue his interests through a current postdoc at Stanford University. Congratulations for this phenomenal recognition, and good luck in your future endeavors!

Featured Investigator


Alyssa H. Hasty, Ph.D.
Professor of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

Research Specialty: 
Obesity-Related Metabolic Disorders

Hasty Lab



Research Description:

We study how obesity impacts health. The growing worldwide obesity epidemic is frequently linked to hyperlipidemia, inflammation, and insulin resistance leading to increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The long-term goal of our laboratory is to determine mechanisms by which obesity increases risk for and pathophysiological consequences of these devastating diseases. Macrophages are part of the innate immune system that infiltrate white adipose tissue (fat) in obese rodents and humans, and produce most of the inflammatory cytokines and chemokines secreted from adipose tissue. In addition, their presence has been shown to be temporally associated with the development of insulin resistance. Our current research focus is threefold: to determine mechanisms by which macrophages accumulate in adipose tissue, to determine the role of resident macrophages in normal adipose tissue function, and to determine how other immune cells like eosinophils also contribute to adipose tissue function.

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