Ahima Lab

Research in my laboratory focuses on the interrelationship between energy stores and regulation of energy balance by the brain. Contrary to the prevailing view of the adipocyte as merely a specialized cell for the storage of excess energy in the form of triglycerides, there is increasing evidence that adipose tissue plays a more active role in energy homeostasis. The levels of leptin, adiponectin, resistin and other hormones secreted by adipose tissue are dependent on the status of energy balance, and serve as important signals linking energy stores to peripheral and central homeostatic mechanisms. Adipokines also have profound effects on the neuroendocrine axis, and glucose and lipid metabolism.



  1. Central and peripheral actions of adipokines
  2. Lipid droplet proteins as energy sensors
  3. Biology of myostatin
  4. Role of estrogen in glucose and lipid metabolism

Research Interests

  1. Energy homeostasis
  2. Neuroendocrinology of obesity
  3. CNS regulation of glucose and lipids

Our Team

Rexford Ahima, M.D., Ph.D.

Director of Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
Email: [email protected]
Office: 410-502-0814

Rexford Ahima

Frederick Danso, Ph.D., M.Sc.

Instructor of Medicine
Email: [email protected]
Office: 410-550-8739

Frederick Danso

Bouchra Taib, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow
Email: [email protected]
Office: 410-550-3124

Bouchra Taib

Jade West

Research Technologist

Jade West


  1. Perilipin Staining Distinguishes Between Steatosis and Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis in Adults and Children. Carr RM, Dhir R, Mahadev K, Comerford M, Chalasani NP, Ahima RS. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2017 Jan;15(1):145-147. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2016.08.023. Epub 2016 Aug 25.
  2. Changes in Fasting and Prandial Gut and Adiposity Hormones Following Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy or Roux-en-Y-Gastric Bypass: 18-Month Prospective Study. Alamuddin N, Vetter ML, Ahima RS, Hesson L, Ritter S, Minnick A, Faulconbridge LF, Allison KC, Sarwer DB, Chittams J, Williams NN, Hayes MR, Loughead JW, Gur R, Wadden TA. Obes Surg. 2016 Dec 21. doi: 10.1007/s11695-016-2505-5
  3. Diabetes Hemoglobin A1C, and Regional Alzheimer Disease an Infarct Pathology.  Pruzin JJ, Schneider JA, Capuano AW, Leurgans SE, Barnes LL, Ahima RS, Arnold SE, Bennett DA, Arvanitakis Z.Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 2016 Oct 17.
  4. MCUR1 Is a Scaffold Factor for the MCU Complex Function and Promotes Mitochondrial Bioenergetics. Tomar D, Dong Z, Shanmughapriya S, Koch DA, Thomas T, Hoffman NE, Timbalia SA, Goldman SJ, Breves SL, Corbally DP, Nemani N, Fairweather JP, Cutri AR, Zhang X, Song J, Jaña F, Huang J, Barrero C, Rabinowitz JE, Luongo TS, Schumacher SM, Rockman ME, Dietrich A, Merali S, Caplan J, Stathopulos P, Ahima RS, Cheung JY, Houser SR, Koch WJ, Patel V, Gohil VM, Elrod JW, Rajan S, Madesh M. 15(8):1673-85. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2016.04.050. Epub 2016 May 12
  5. The P72R Polymorphism of p53 Predisposes to Obesity and Metabolic Dysfunction. Kung CP, Leu JI, Basu S, Khaku S, Anokye-Danso F, Liu Q, George DL, Ahima RS, Murphy ME. 14(10):2413-25. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2016.02.037. Epub. 2016 Mar. 3
  6. Editorial: Unlocking Therapeutic Potential of Brown Fat. Ahima RS. Mol Endocrinol. 2016 Mar;30(3):275-7. doi: 10.1210/me.2016-1017.
  7. Pathophysiology of lipid droplet proteins in liver diseases. Carr RM, Ahima RS. Exp Cell Res. 2016 Jan 15;340(2):187-92. doi: 10.1016/j.yexcr.2015.10.021. 
  8. Deletion of murine Arv1 results in a lean phenotype with increased energy expenditure. Lagor WR, Tong F, Jarrett KE, Lin W, Conlon DM, Smith M, Wang MY, Yenilmez BO, McCoy MG, Fields DW, O'Neill SM, Gupta R, Kumaravel A, Redon V, Ahima RS, Sturley SL, Billheimer JT, Rader DJ. Nutr Diabetes. 2015 Oct 19;5:e181. doi: 10.1038/nutd.2015.32.
  9. IL-15Rα is a determinant of muscle fuel utilization, and its loss protects against obesity. Loro E, Seifert EL, Moffat C, Romero F, Mishra MK, Sun Z, Krajacic P, Anokye-Danso F, Summer RS, Ahima RS, Khurana TS. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2015 Oct 15;309(8):R835-44. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00505.2014.
  10. Metabolic Effects of CX3CR1 Deficiency in Diet-Induced Obese Mice.  Shah R, O'Neill SM, Hinkle C, Caughey J, Stephan S, Lynch E, Bermingham K, Lynch G, Ahima RS, Reilly MP. PLoS One. 2015 Sep 22;10(9):e0138317. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0138317.