Irene Schauer MD PhD

  • Endocrinology (SOM)

Research Description

BIRCWH project title: Effect of free fatty acid elevation on insulin sensitivity and exercise parameters

Current research focus: My focus is primarily on insulin resistance, it's mechanisms and consequences in type 1 and type 2 diabetes. A special area of interest is the interplay between insulin sensitivity and exercise capacity. 

How Dr. Schauer became interested in this work: My interest comes largely from seeing people with diabetes and noticing how differently they can present and cope with their diagnosis.

Clinical significance of this research: Understanding insulin action and its interaction with exercise capacity will help us better understand how to help people with diabetes. For instance, medications that improve exercise tolerance or capacity could help people with diabetes improve their lifestyles in order to help prevent complications of diabetes.

Relevance of this work to women's health or sex/gender differences: Insulin sensitivity is more profoundly effected by diabetes in women than in men. This may help to explain the relatively large increase in heart disease in young women with diabetes. Furthermore, this suggests that different mechanisms may be at play and that optimal treatment may therefore be different in men and women. 

Key Publications

CREB downregulation in vascular disease: a common response to cardiovascular risk. Schauer IE, Knaub LA, Lloyd M, Watson PA, Gliwa C, Lewis KE, Chair A, Klemm DJ, Gunter JM, Bouchard R, McDonald TO, O'Brien KD, Reusch JE. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2010 Apr;30(4):733-41. doi: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.109.199133. Epub 2010 Feb 11. 

Insulin resistance, defective insulin-mediated fatty acid suppression, and coronary artery calcification in subjects with and without type 1 diabetes: The CACTI study. Schauer IE, Snell-Bergeon JK, Bergman BC, Maahs DM, Kretoqski A, Eckel RH, Rewers M. Diabetes. 2011 Jan;60(1):306-14. doi: 10.2337/db10-0328. Epub 2010 Oct 26. PMID: 20978091 

Nonesterified fatty acid exposure activates protective and mitogenic pathways in vascular smooth muscle cells by alternate signaling pathways. Schauer IE, Reusch JE. Metabolism. 2009 Mar;58(3):319-27. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2008.10.003.