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Rachael Van Pelt, PhD

Associate Professor



Division of Geriatrics
University of Colorado
Anschutz Medical Campus

12631 East 17th Avenue - L15
PO Box 6511, Mail Stop B179
Aurora CO 80045

vox: 303 724 1917
fax: 303 724 1918

rachael.vanpelt@ucdenver.edu


Dr. Rachael Van Pelt received her PhD in Kinesiology and Applied Physiology from the University of Colorado Boulder in 1998. Her dissertation focused on the influence of age and physical activity on body composition and resting energy expenditure in healthy adults. She began her postdoctoral training at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and subsequently completed her training at the University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus (formerly Health Sciences Center). Dr. Van Pelt is currently an Associate Professor in the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Center on Aging. Her research is focused on the role of aging and changing hormonal milieu on insulin action, lipid metabolism, adiposity, and development of cardiometabolic risk. Early career development studies focused on the role of exogenous estradiol administration in postmenopausal women on insulin-mediated glucose uptake, insulin suppression of lipolysis, insulin secretion and clearance. As an extension of these studies, she currently has two NIH/NIDDK-funded R01s. The first R01 (DK077992) is focused on menopause-related differences in regional (abdominal vs. femoral) adipose tissue accumulation and whether changes regional tissue mass alter postprandial triglyceride clearance and storage of meal-derived fatty acids. The second R01 (DK088105) is designed to isolate whether the effect of estradiol on insulin-mediated glucose uptake is dependent on the timing of administration after menopause and/or the number of years a woman has been estrogen deficient. Related to her expertise in insulin action and postprandial metabolism she also collaborates on clinical trials designed to study the role of: 1) maternal obesity and gestational diabetes on fetal/infant outcomes (PI Lynn Barbour, MD); and 2) obesity and insulin resistance on the progression of mild cognitive impairment (PI Robert Schwartz, MD).