Metabolic Health & Weight Loss Program

Clinical Research

Research is one of our cornerstones and we are among the top programs in the country receiving support from the Natio​nal Institutes of Health. We are engaged in a wide range of research to identify the origin and mechanisms of disease, as well as patient-oriented clinical research to develop new treatments. Visit yalestudies.org to view available clinical trials and learn more about clinical research at Yale, or see below for some of this program's research. 

Active Basic Research

Identify the ability of metabolite β-hydroxybutyrate to reduce obesity induced inflammation via the GPR109a receptor.
β-hydroxybutyrate is a nutrient that is produced by the body during fasting and exercise. We are investigating how this nutrient can reduce total body inflammation and protect against some of the effects of over-nutrition induced organ damage.

Identify the mechanism by which HIF-1α can enhance obesity induced inflammation in the liver and other organs.
HIF-1α is a chemical inside the cell that helps the cell survive low amounts of oxygen. We have also found that it is required for over-nutrition induced organ damage. We are identifying the molecular pathways that allow it do this.

Demonstrate the role of cardiac glycosides as anti-inflammatory drugs that can protect the liver in fatty liver.
Cardiac glycosides are an old family of drugs which include digoxin. We have identified that these drugs can reduce tissue inflammation and can protect from fatty liver. We are identifying the pathways responsible for this and planning clinical trials with low dose digoxin.

Identify the role of TLR9 and plasma DNA to induce liver inflammation in the setting of fatty liver.
DNA is familiar to everyone as the chemical that encodes genetic information. When DNA escapes from cells it can also cause inflammation, and we have identified this as an important mechanism that causes liver inflammation in fatty liver.

Pending Clinical Trials

Study Title: Lorcaserin for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis – a placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized trial
HIC# 1411014926
Sponsor: EISAI Inc.