Type 2 diabetes mellitus (Type 2 DM), obesity, hypertension and coronary artery disease (CAD) are the most common causes of morbidity and mortality in western populations. These pathological processes are characterized by a poorly understood metabolic condition, insulin resistance. Previous animal and human studies relate glucocorticoid excess, a hormone secreted by the adrenal gland, and vitamin D deficiency as a potential link between insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease. Our laboratory is using multiple animal models, novel molecular biology techniques and classical physiology to assess whether an alteration in the expression of genes related to glucocorticoid and vitamin D metabolism are responsible for the development of these diseases. Recently, we found that a nuclear transcription PPAR Î± and hepatic afferent vagal nerve activation are required for glucocorticoid-induced hypertension and diabetes in mice. Now, we are conducting clinical studies to assess the implication of our animal results in humans. Identifying these mechanisms may lead to the development of novel therapies for the treatment of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Awards and Honors
2006 – Colombian Outstanding Medical Scientist in USA. Premios Orquidea. Sponsored by Colombian Consulate in U.S.A.
2001 – Outstanding Original Research Award, Endocrinology Fellows Forum of Excellence at the American Diabetes Association meeting in Philadelphia
1998 – Chief Resident in Internal Medicine at University of Miami Internal Medicine Program
1994 – Internal Medicine Congress, Distinguished Mention for Internal Medicine Residency Research