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The goal of the Roizen Laboratory is to understand the non-calciometabolic effects of vitamin D and to design new therapeutic approaches for common diseases like sarcopenia and obesity. Employing a unique toolbox of methods, the lab uses large human data sets and mouse physiology combined with high-throughput sequencing to drive questions in cell culture, and results from unbiased screening in cell culture to drive test-of-principle experiments and trials in mice and humans.
Additionally, the Roizen Lab relies on core principles of improv to drive their science: listening, following the facts, finding what is interesting, being specific in scientific questions and hypotheses, and recognizing that for well-designed experiments, there are no failures.
- Vitamin D and sarcopenia: Vitamin D increases strength and muscle mass on a chow diet independent of its effects on calcium and phosphate metabolism. The Roizen Lab is using high-throughput sequencing to determine how vitamin D improves muscle function, as well as to identify other pathways that mimic vitamin D muscle effects.
- Vitamin D and nutrient sensing: Vitamin D specifically improves metabolism of fat and central sensing of fat. The team is using high-throughput sequencing to determine how vitamin D improves fat metabolism and central sensing of fat, as well as to identify other pathways that mimic vitamin D effects on fat metabolism and fat sensing.
- Vitamin D and calorie allocation: Vitamin D specifically increases allocation of calories to fast-twitch muscle. Through high-throughput sequencing, the lab is working to determine how vitamin D increases this allocation, and to identify other pathways that mimic these vitamin D effects.
- Vitamin D as a tissue specific regulator of mitochondrial function: Vitamin D is a tissue specific regulator of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation capacity. Notably, dietary vitamin D increases oxidative phosphorylation in fast-twitch muscle and the myocardium while it has no effect on it in slow-twitch muscle. We are using high-throughput sequencing to determine how these vitamin D effects are mediated as well as to identify other pathways that mimic these vitamin D effects.