Tony K.T. Lam

Tony K.T. Lam, PhD

The Lam lab consists of postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, research associates and technicians. Together, they aim to unveil novel therapeutic molecular targets in the gut and the brain that lower blood glucose and lipid levels, as well as body weight in diabetes and obesity.
Funded by a CIHR Foundation Grant, the Lam lab discovered nutrient sensing-dependent molecules in the gut that are sufficient and necessary for gut microbiota, metformin and bariatric surgery to lower blood glucose levels in diabetic and obese rodents (Bauer et al. Cell Metab 2017; Duca et al. Nat Med 2015; Cote et al. Nat Med 2015; Rasmussen et al. Cell Metab 2014; Breen et al. Nat Med 2012; Cheung et al. Cell Metab 2009; Wang et al. Nature 2008). In parallel, the Lam lab examines nutrient sensing-dependent molecules in the brain that lower blood glucose and lipid levels, as well as body weight in diabetic and obese rodents (Yue et al. Nat Commun 2016; Yue et al. Nat Commun 2015; Yue et al. Circ Res 2012).
Funded by a Diabetes Canada Operating Grant, the Lam lab studies hormone sensing-dependent molecules in the brain that lower blood glucose and lipid levels, as well as body weight in diabetic and obese rodents (Filippi et al. Cell Rep 2017; LaPierre et al. EMBO Rep 2015; Mighiu et al. Nat Med 2013; Filippi et al. Cell Metab 2012).
The Lam lab seeks hard-working and energetic individuals to join the group and help discover novel and effective antidiabetic and antiobesity molecules to improve health care in Canada and around the world.

  • Selected Publications
    • Rasmussen BA et al. Jejunal leptin-PI3K signaling lowers glucose production. Cell Metabolism 19(1):155-161, 2014
    • Mighiu PI, Yue JT et al. Hypothalamic glucagon signaling inhibits hepatic glucose production. Nature Medicine 19(6):766-772, 2013
    • Filippi BM et al. Insulin activates Erk1/2 signaling in the dorsal vagal complex to inhibit glucose production. Cell Metabolism 16:500-510, 2012
    • Breen DM et al. Jejunal nutrient sensing is required for duodenal-jejunal bypass surgery to rapidly lower glucose concentrations in uncontrolled diabetes. Nature Medicine 18:950-955, 2012. (Live Interview at Nature Medicine Podcast: Time 16:06)
    • Yue JT and Lam TKT. Lipid sensing and insulin resistance in the brain. Cell Metabolism 15:646-655, 2012
    • Yue JT et al. Glycine normalizes hepatic triglyeride-rich VLDL secretion by triggering the CNS in high-fat fed rats. Circulation Research 110:1345-54, 2012
    • Lam TKT: Neuronal regulation of homeostasis by nutrient sensing. Nature Medicine 16:392-395, 2010
    • Cheung G et al. Intestinal cholecystokinin controls glucose production through a neuronal network. Cell Metabolism 10:99-109, 2009 (Cover story, TV Interview)
    • Wang P et al. Upper intestinal lipids trigger a gut-brain-liver axis to regulate glucose production. Nature 452:1012-1016, 2008 (Named a 2008 Milestone in Canadian Health Research by Canadian Institutes of Health Research)
    • Caspi L et al. A balance of lipid-sensing mechanisms in the brain and liver. Cell Metabolism 6:99-104, 2007
    • Lam TKT et al. Regulation of blood glucose by hypothalamic pyruvate metabolism. Science 309(5736):943, 2005
Cell Metab. 2017 Oct 17;:
Bauer PV, Duca FA, Waise TMZ, Rasmussen BA, Abraham MA, Dranse HJ, Puri A, O'Brien CA, Lam TKT
Diabetes. 2017 Oct 05;:
Knight CM, Gutierrez-Juarez R, Lam TKT, Arrieta-Cruz I, Huang L, Schwartz G, Barzilai N, Rossetti L
Cell Rep. 2017 Mar 07;18(10):2301-2309
Filippi BM, Abraham MA, Silva PN, Rasti M, LaPierre MP, Bauer PV, Rocheleau JV, Lam TKT
J Clin Invest. 2017 Jan 03;127(1):33-42
Winer DA, Winer S, Dranse HJ, Lam TK
Nat Commun. 2016 Nov 22;7:13501
Yue JT, Abraham MA, Bauer PV, LaPierre MP, Wang P, Duca FA, Filippi BM, Chan O, Lam TK
Diabetologia. 2016 Jul;59(7):1367-1371
Abraham MA, Lam TKT
J Biol Chem. 2016 Apr 15;291(16):8816-24
Zadeh-Tahmasebi M, Duca FA, Rasmussen BA, Bauer PV, Côté CD, Filippi BM, Lam TK
Nat Med. 2016 Feb;22(2):217
Duca FA, Côté CD, Rasmussen BA, Zadeh-Tahmasebi M, Rutter GA, Filippi BM, Lam TK



John Kitson McIvor (1915-1942) Endowed Chair in Diabetes Research
Canada Research Chair in Obesity
Full Professor, Departments of Physiology and Medicine, University of Toronto
Associate Director of Research, Banting and Best Diabetes Centre, University of Toronto