Stefater-Richards Lab Research | Overview
The Stefater-Richards Lab combines preclinical and human models of disease to understand mechanisms for highly-effective obesity and diabetes therapies, especially bariatric surgery. In particular, we are focused on gastrointestinal mechanisms for energy homeostasis. Our goal is to home in on biological pathways likely to be important therapeutic targets for obesity and related comorbidities including diabetes.
We hypothesize from our work in humans and rodents that intestinal adaptation is an important response to RYGB that mediates at least some of the surgery’s beneficial metabolic effects, and that luminal changes resulting from the surgery are important for eliciting this adaptation. We are using transcriptomic and epigenomic approaches to study tissues and organoids derived from patients and from rodent models. To this end, we are building an ongoing biorepository of blood and tissue samples from patients in Boston Children's Adolescent Bariatric Surgery clinic. Our goal is to determine biologic signatures from tissues, especially intestinal tissue, that relate to clinical outcomes and physiologic measures of fuel metabolism in our patients.