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Tony K.T. Lam, PhD
Senior Scientist, Toronto General Research Institute (TGRI)
Research Interests
As the John Kitson McIvor (1915-1942) Endowed Chair in Diabetes Research and the Canada Research Chair in Obesity, I am interested in glucose and energy homeostasis and their roles in diabetes and obesity. Our main focus has been to elucidate nutrient and hormone sensing mechanisms in the gut and the brain that regulate hepatic glucose production, hepatic VLDL-TG secretion and food intake to maintain glucose, lipid and energy homeostasis.

We have discovered that nutrient sensing in the duodenum triggers hormonal signaling and a gut-brain-liver axis to inhibit glucose production and lower plasma glucose levels. We have identified intestinal signaling defects that are acquired by diabetes and obesity and have characterized novel molecular signaling pathways that can be activated to bypass intestinal signaling defects and restore glucose homeostasis.

In addition, we have discovered that jejunual nutrient sensing is necessary for duodenal-jejunal bypass to rapidly lower glucose levels in uncontrolled diabetes. Lastly, we have unveiled novel insulin, glucagon and nutrient signaling pathways in the brain that regulate hepatic glucose production, VLDL-TG secretion and food intake.

In summary, our discoveries reveal molecular targets in the gut and the brain that may carry therapeutic potential to lower blood glucose and lipid levels and body weight in diabetes and obesity.

Additional Appointments
  • 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

 
 
Selected Publications

  • Rasmussen BA et al. Jejunal leptin-PI3K signaling lowers glucose production. Cell Metab 19(1):155-161, 2014

  • Mighiu PI, Yue JT et al. Hypothalamic glucagon signaling inhibits hepatic glucose production. Nature Medicine [May 19, 2013]

  • Filippi B et al. Insulin activates Erk1/2 signaling in the dorsal vagal complex to inhibit glucose production. Cell Metabolism 16(4):500-510, 2012

  • Breen D et al. Jejunal nutrient sensing is required for duodenal-jejunal bypass surgery to rapidly lower glucose concentrations in uncontrolled diabetes. Nature Med 18(6):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(5):646-655, 2012

  • Yue JT et al. Glycine normalizes hepatic triglyeride-rich VLDL secretion by triggering the CNS in high-fat fed rats. Circ Res 110:1345-1353, 2012

  • Lam TKT: China needs to boost funding for graduate students to stay competitive. Nat Med 17(6):655, 2011. (Live-interview at Nature Medicine Podcast: Time 17:42, TV interview)

  • 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 Metab 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(2):99-104, 2007

  • Lam TKT et al. Regulation of blood glucose by hypothalamic pyruvate metabolism. Science 309(5736):943, 2005
 
 
  Tony  K.T. Lam
Mailing Address
Primary Office
MaRS Centre
Toronto Medical Discovery Tower
10th Floor Room 10-705
101 College St.
Toronto, Ontario
Canada M5G 1L7

Primary Office
MaRS Centre
Toronto Medical Discovery Tower
10th Floor Room 10-601
101 College St.
Toronto, Ontario
Canada M5G 1L7

Primary Office
Toronto General Hospital
Max Bell Research Centre
4th Floor Room 4MBRC 414-21 & 406-11
200 Elizabeth St.
Toronto, Ontario
Canada M5G 2C4

 
Email

Phone Numbers
416-581-7880(Primary)
416-581-7697(LAB)
416-581-7697(FAX)

 
Staff and Trainees
Brittany Rasmussen
Madhu Chari
Carol Lam
Clair Yang
Danna Breen
Andrea Kokorovic
Grace Cheung
Katie Lee
Penny Wang
Teresa (Yeuk Yu) Lai

   
 
 
 
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