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University of Colorado Denver

University of Colorado Denver

Daniel H. Bessesen, M.D.

Faculty Profile



Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes

University of Colorado Denver, School of Medicine


Dietary Fat Metabolism

Grants:  1)  NIH K24 DK02935: Post-Prandial Nutrient Partitioning in Humans

                2)  NIH RO1 DK071155: Sex and the Endocrine Regulation of Fuel Metabolism

                3)  NIH DK048520 (Hill): Colorado Clinical Nutrition Research Center

               4)  NIH RO1DK072174 (Cornier): The Effects of Energy Imbalance on Food Intake Behaviors

               5)  NIH RO1DK077992 (VanPelt): Regional fat-re-accumulation following lipectomy in pre- and

        post-menopausal women


Description of Research

   Our group has focused on how differences in the disposition of dietary fat between storage in adipose tissue and oxidation in skeletal muscle and liver might relate to the development and maintenance of obesity.  We have conducted studies using dietary fat tracers in rodents and human subjects. We have used animal models and human subjects that are constitutively thin to examine how obesity resistant individuals respond to brief periods of overfeeding in a manner that defends against weight gain.  We have hypothesized that differences in dietary fat trafficking favoring the delivery of dietary fat to liver and skeletal muscle may promote more robust nutrient sensing and that in response to overfeeding obesity resistant individuals will more accurately reduce food intake to restore energy balance.  We have conducted studies using functional brain imaging to examine regional brain activation in response to short tem overfeeding to test this idea. 


1-2 Most Significant Publications

1)      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

2)      Bessesen DH, Bull S, Cornier MA; Trafficking of Dietary Fat and Resistance to Obesity. Physiology and Behavior, 2008 94(5):681-688.

3)      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)

4)      Kushner R; Bessesen DH; Treatment of the Obese Patient, Humana Press, Newark NJ, 2007


Primary Focus Area (if part of the obesity initiative)

·         Energy and Nutrient Metabolism in Health and Disease


Secondary Focus Areas (if part of the obesity initiative)

·         Food intake


Access to Specialized Populations

·         Medically indigent minority population at Denver Health Medical Center


Benefit of CNRU

The main benefit of the CNRU for my group has been to provide the infrastructure needed to conduct our studies.  Along with the CTRC, the CNRU core laboratories have been fundamental to our progress.  The services provided by the cores are available to us at a reasonable cost, and we would be unable to do our studies without these services.  In addition, the CNRU has been a fertile source of collaborative relationships for us here at the University of Colorado. 


CNRU Cores Used

Administrative, Energy Balance, Metabolic

Mass Spectrometry


CNRU Collaborations

Catenacci, Cornier, Grunwald, Higgins, Horton, Jackman, Kosmiski, MacLean, Melanson, Ogden, Pereira, Tsai, VanPelt, Wyatt
University of Colorado Denver

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