August 2013 Researcher of the Month - Evelyn Litwinoff

Evelyn LitwinoffCurrent Studies
Obesity is a major risk factor for insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, whose complications can lead to early mortality. Currently, no effective treatment exists to reverse or prevent obesity and insulin resistance.  Advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) accumulate in multiple tissues in mice fed a high fat diet (HFD).

The interaction of AGEs with their cell surface receptor, RAGE, contributes to the pathogenesis of diabetic complications. Compared to wild type mice fed HFD, RAGE-null mice displayed significant protection from diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance. Recent evidence links HFD feeding with defective autophagy, and autophagy is known to regulate lipid homeostasis.

Recent studies also show the importance of macrophage infiltration into visceral adipose tissue in the development of insulin resistance in obesity.  My project involves studying AGE-RAGE mediated regulation of autophagy in adipose tissue macrophages to see the effect on the development of insulin resistance.

Publications
1.  Sequence of Artemia franciscana EST clone T4EL6.07
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/nucest/163564321?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Sequence.Sequence_ResultsPanel.Sequence_RVDocSum
2.  Sequence of Artemia franciscana EST clone T4EL4.07
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/nucest/163564320?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Sequence.Sequence_ResultsPanel.Sequence_RVDocSum
3.  Sequence of Artemia franciscana EST clone T4EL3.07
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/nucest/163564319?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Sequence.Sequence_ResultsPanel.Sequence_RVDocSum
 

Meeting Abstracts & Presentations
Litwinoff EMS and Schmidt AM. The role of autophagy in obese adipose tissue inflammation. Pathobiology Training Program Retreat. New York, NY. May 2013.
 
Litwinoff EMS, Royal D, Royal MA, Lizzio M, Smith R, and Driscoll M. The molecular identification and characterization of genes that effect necrotic cell death. Senior Poster Session for Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Majors. New Brunswick, NJ. May 2011.
 
Litwinoff EMS, Royal D, Royal MA, Lizzio M, Smith R, and Driscoll M. The molecular identification and characterization of genes that effect necrotic cell death. Princeton Undergraduate Research Symposium. Princeton, NJ. April 2011.
 
Litwinoff EMS, Royal D, Royal MA, Lizzio M, Smith R, and Driscoll M. The molecular characterization and identification of genes that enhance necrotic cell death. Aresty Research Symposium. New Brunswick, NJ. April 2010.
 

Future Plans
I hope to obtain my Ph.D. in pathobiology and continue my research in lipid metabolism, nutrition, and energy balance. This will help me reach my career goal of becoming a principle investigator in an academic, industry, or government setting.