My research is focused on identifying the causality of the association between lifestyle behaviors, such as diet and sleep, and cardio-metabolic risk. I am most interested in the study of lifestyle behaviors for body weight control and cardiovascular disease prevention. This includes examining the relation between sleep and weight management and cardiometabolic disease risk as well as the effects of functional foods/beverages and food components for weight management and cardiovascular disease risk prevention. I have strong expertise in the conduct of controlled inpatient and outpatient studies of sleep and dietary manipulations. Methods employed in my lab include indirect calorimetry and actigraphy (energy expenditure, physical activity & sleep); magnetic resonance imaging, dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, and computed tomography (body composition); and functional magnetic resonance imaging (neuronal networks involved in appetite regulation and control). I study the impact of lifestyle behaviors on cardiometabolic risk factors such as obesity, dyslipidemia, blood pressure, glucose tolerance and inflammation and on hormones implicated in energy balance regulation, such as leptin, ghrelin, glucagon-like peptide-1, and peptide YY.
Sleep Center of Excellence