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Daniel H. Bessesen, M.D.

Professor of Medicine, Program Director, Endocrinology Fellowship Program

Dr. Bessesen is a Colorado native who received his training at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. Since 1991 he has been based at Denver Health Medical Center where he has a basic science laboratory, and provides clinical services in general endocrinology. His research focuses on the role that abnormalities in the partitioning of dietary fat between storage and oxidation might play in the development of obesity and insulin resistance. His laboratory performs tracer studies in outbred strains of rats selected for susceptibility to obesity on a high fat diet. In addition his laboratory studies the metabolic fate of ethanol as a nutrient. Recent studies have used both stable isotopes and 14C labeled tracers to look at the interaction of dietary fat and carbohydrate in human skeletal muscle. These studies employ indirect calorimetry, tracer infusions, tissue biopsies, and limb balance measurements to provide a comprehensive view of dietary nutrient partitioning. His past work examined the role that triglyceride uptake by the central nervous system might play in body weight regulation via alterations in appetite/satiety, macronutrient preference, or central control of peripheral metabolism. Clinically Dr. Bessesen is interested in the use of case management strategies to reduce the cost of care for patients with diabetes.​

Selected Publications

  • Cornier MA, Salzberg AK, Endly DC, Bessesen DH, Tregellas JR. Sex-Based differences in the behavioral and neuronal responses to food. Physiol Behav. 2010 PUBMED
  • Kosmiski LA, Ringham BM, Grunwald GK, Bessesen DH. Dual-e​nergy X-ray absorptiometry modeling to explain the increased resting energy expenditure associated with the HIV lipoatrophy syndrome. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Dec;90(6):1525-31. PUBMED
  • Christian JG, Tsai AG, Bessesen DH. Interpreting weight losses from lifestyle modification trials: using categorical data. Int J Obes (Lond). 2010 Jan;34(1):207-9. PUBMED
  • Cornier MA, Salzberg AK, Endly DC, Bessesen DH, Rojas DC, Tregellas JR. The effects of overfeeding on the neuronal response to visual food cues in thin and reduced-obese individuals. PLoS One. 2009 Jul 28;4(7) PUBMED
  • Bergman BC, Cornier MA, Horton TJ, Bessesen DH, Eckel RH. Skeletal muscle munc18c and syntaxin 4 in human obesity. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2008 Jul 24;5:21. PUBMED
  • Flint KM, Van Walleghen EL, Kealey EH, VonKaenel S, Bessesen DH, Davy BM. Differences in eating behaviors between nonobese, weight stable young and older adults. Eat Behav. 2008 Aug;9(3):370-5. PUBMED 
  • Bessesen DH. Update on obesity. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Jun;93(6):2027-34. Review. PUBMED 
  • Bessesen DH, Bull S, Cornier MA. Trafficking of dietary fat and resistance to obesity. Physiol Behav. 2008 Aug 6;94(5):681-8. PUBMED
  • Jackman MR, Steig A, Higgins JA, Johnson GC, Fleming-Elder BK, Bessesen DH, MacLean PS. Weight regain after sustained weight reduction is accompanied by suppressed oxidation of dietary fat and adipocyte hyperplasia. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2008 Apr;294(4):R1117-29. PUBMED 
  • Christian JG, Bessesen DH, Byers TE, Christian KK, Goldstein MG, Bock BC. Clinic-based support to help overweight patients with type 2 diabetes increase physical activity and lose weight. Arch Intern Med. 2008 Jan 28;168(2):141-6. PUBMED
  • Kosmiski LA, Bessesen DH, Stotz SA, Koeppe JR, Horton TJ. Short-term energy restriction reduces resting energy expenditure in patients with HIV lipodystrophy and hypermetabolism. Metabolism. 2007 Feb;56(2):289-95. PUBMED
  • Cornier MA, Bergman BC, Bessesen DH. The effects of short-term overfeeding on insulin action in lean and reduced-obese individuals. Metabolism. 2006 Sep;55(9):1207-14. PUBMED
  • Jackman MR, Kramer RE, MacLean PS, Bessesen DH. Trafficking of dietary fat in obesity-prone and obesity-resistant rats. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2006 Nov;291(5):E1083-91. PUBMED
​Coming Soon!

Reasearch Interests

  • Dietary Fat Metabolism
  • Obesity and Reduced Obesity
  • Thinness
  • Nutrient Sensing