Cholesterol Homeostasis in Diabetes

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Dr. Blake Cochran, UNSW SoMS (Sydney). Dr. Blake was visiting the MBT institute through an ongoing DAAD-UA exchange project. Dr. Cochran is a new Lecturer at the School of Medical Sciences at UNSW, having been trained in Biotechnology at University of Wollongong. His focus is on cholesterol homeostasis in diabetes and obesity. In his talk on October 28, he pointed out the different research topics he’s been working on and the progress of our ongoing collaborative project. Here, Blake investigates the effects of impaired insulin sensitivity of B immune cells on the muscle and fat metabolism, which was successfully mimicked in a double knock-out mouse model of cholesterol transporters ABCA1/ABCG1. He detected that insulin desensitisation effectively leads to an accumulation of fatty tissue and reduces muscle mass which eventually diminishes exercise/strength performance. This phenotype was successfully ameliorated by administering insulin via a subcutaneous insulin pump over 28 days, which was proven in initial experiments using our MyoRobot system.