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University of Colorado Denver

University of Colorado Denver


Faculty Profile

Assistant Professor

Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Diabetes

University of Colorado Denver


Fat Metabolism and Lipotoxicity in Diabetes

Grants: 1) NIH BIRCWH K12, "Gender effects and insulin resistance in diabetic heart disease"

                2) VA Merit Award (PI: Jane Reusch),Impact of Lipid Infusion on Functional Exercise Capacity”

                3) CCTSI Pilot and Feasibility grant, “Chronic NEFA exposure in T1DM (insulin resistant) vs. non-DM (insulin sensitive) CACTI subjects”


Description of Research

            My overall research interest is in the role of fatty acids in cardiovascular risk in diabetes, and in sex-based differences in the responses to insulin resistance and fatty acids. Under this general umbrella, I’m pursuing several approaches.

First, I am studying the effects of acute fatty acid manipulations on insulin sensitivity, cardiovascular function, and exercise capacity in normoglycemic and diabetic individuals. Elevation of fatty acid levels for several hours in non-diabetic individuals induces insulin resistance and causes changes in exercise performance that are seen in diabetic individuals at baseline. In a converse approach I will soon be using acipimox to lower fatty acid levels in diabetic subjects and measuring the effects on exercise, insulin sensitivity, and endothelial and cardiac function.


I am also looking at insulin resistance in T1DM, its mechanism, and its sex-specific relationship to cardiovascular disease through studies with the Coronary Artery Calcification in Type I Diabetes (CACTI) cohort. I will be studying the role of dietary macronutrient composition and glycemic control on insulin resistance in this population.


             Finally, I do in vitro studies of the effects of fatty acids and LDL on vascular smooth muscle primary cell cultures.


1-2 Most Significant Publications

1)    Schauer, IE, PA Watson, J E-B. Reusch. Non-esterified fatty acid exposure activates protective and mitogenic pathways in vascular smooth muscle cells by alternate signaling pathways (2009) Metabolism 58: 319-327.

2)    Schauer IE, Bauer T, Watson PA, Regensteiner JG, Reusch JEB (2009) Exercise Performance and Exercise Training in Diabetes. In: Diabetes and Exercise, eds. Regensteiner JG, Stewart K, Reusch JEB, Veves A; Humana Press.


Primary Focus Area (if part of the obesity initiative)

·         Obesity Pathophysiology & Disease: Applied Mechanisms-co-leader

Secondary Focus Areas (if part of the obesity initiative)

·         Obesity Pathophysiology & Disease: Basic Mechanisms

·         Obesity Cell Biology


Access to Specialized Populations

·         Coronary artery calcification in T1 Diabetes (CACTI) cohort

·         VA clinical endocrinology population


Benefit of CNRU

One of the major benefits of CNRU is the large number of researchers with similar interests that it helps attract and provides access to. Having this large group of potential collaborators with expertise different from mine has been invaluable to my research. In addition, the pilot project program has been the source of some of my funding. The core laboratories of the CNRU are also very important, providing services in a cost-effective manner than cannot be easily developed in individual labs. 


CNRU Cores Used

Energy Balance

Mass Spectrometry


CNRU Collaborations

Reusch, Regensteiner, Pereira, McCurdy, Van Pelt, Eckel, Rewers, Snell-Bergeon, Hamman
University of Colorado Denver

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