Seed grant project title: Altered PVAT Phenotype by Thermoneutrality Compromises Vasoreactivity: Does Sex Matter?
Current research focus: People with diabetes have an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Is it important to focus on early dysfunction of the vasculature in diabetes to prevent CVD pathology from occurring. Nondiabetic premenopausal women have less CVD risk than men; however, in those with diabetes, this advantage disappears for unknown reasons. Although understanding this sex disparity is critical to addressing the comorbidity of CVD in diabetes, the majority of animal models feature males only. Including female animals is critical to enable understanding of sex differences in the predisposition to CVD in men and women with diabetes. Dr. Keller's project will investigate the regulatory role of localized fat tissue on vascular reactivity in both sexes. She will generate novel understanding of CVD pathophysiology as well as validate a unique female model of vascular and metabolic impairment, both necessary to the development of new treatments.