Ana Emiliano, MD, MSc

Healthy body weight regulation is achieved through a complex interplay between the CNS and peripheral organs, including the peripheral nervous system, liver, pancreas, gut, and adipose tissue. When environmental or genetic factors disrupt this delicate balance, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes can ensue. Pharmacological or surgical therapies for obesity aim to restore this balance, often through mechanisms that are still incompletely understood.

The Emiliano lab team is focused on understanding the role of the peripheral nervous system in the pathophysiology of obesity. Mining the mechanistic underpinnings of effective pharmacological and surgical weight loss interventions is a way to learn more about obesity pathophysiology. Currently, our primary focus has been on how weight loss interventions affect the peripheral nervous system, leading to a cascade of effects that involve liver, pancreas, gut, and adipose tissue. How sex and age differences affect the outcome of these weight loss interventions is a fundamental angle also explored by our team. Our lab frequently studies the transcriptomic and epigenomic changes that occur in response to obesity therapies, always conducted in parallel with classic physiological techniques to characterize phenotypes generated in treated versus non-treated mice. Therapies currently being studied by our team include vertical sleeve gastrectomy and Roux-en-Y gastric bypass.

Two areas of particular interest to our team are how the peripheral sympathetic nervous system contributes to obesity pathophysiology and also how obesity mimics the aging process.

Recent Publications

  • Emiliano AB, Lopatinsky NR, Kraljević M, Higuchi S, He Y, Haeusler RA, Schwartz GJ. Sex-specific differences in metabolic outcomes after sleeve gastrectomy and intermittent fasting in obese middle-aged mice. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2022 Jul 1;323(1):E107-E121. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00017.2022. Epub 2022 Jun 6. PMID: 35658544; PMCID: PMC9273270.
  • PCORnet Group. Preoperative Depression Status and Five Year Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Outcomes in the PCORnet Bariatric Study Cohort. Ann Surg. 2022 Jan 19;. doi: 10.1097/SLA.0000000000005364. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 35058404.
  • PCORnet Group. Comparative Effectiveness and Safety of Bariatric Procedures for Weight Loss: A PCORnet Cohort Study. Ann Intern Med. 2018 Dec 4;169(11):741-750. PubMed PMID: 30383139; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6652193.