Taskforce for Obesity Research at UT Southwestern (TORS)

We have assembled the best investigators and technology at UT Southwestern Medical Center to focus on a major medical problem in the U.S.: obesity and the associated constellation of metabolic disorders referred to as the metabolic syndrome (atherogenic dyslipidemia, hyperglycemia, hypertension, prothrombotic and proinflammatory states).

This grant supported the efforts of investigators from diverse disciplines to examine the behavioral, metabolic, and molecular mechanisms that cause obesity and metabolic syndrome. Our project focuses primarily on the brain and liver, organs that play central roles in the development of obesity and its adverse metabolic consequences.

Diagram of team interactions
TORS Investigation Model

The primary goal of this work is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms by which the brain regulates food intake and energy expenditure and to determine how dysregulation of glucose and lipid metabolism in the liver causes the metabolic syndrome. Our longer-term goal is to develop more directed approaches to prevent obesity and treat the metabolic complications of this disorder.

We have developed four research teams with different areas of expertise that will interact extensively to pursue the shared goals of this project. Collaborations among investigators will occur at two levels: among individual investigators and among the four teams. To ensure our goals are met, we established the Taskforce for Obesity Research at UT Southwestern (TORS). TORS will integrate the traditionally disparate disciplines of neuroendocrinology, genetics, lipid metabolism, intermediary metabolism, and clinical epidemiology into a cohesive center to study obesity and the metabolic syndrome.