Dr. Bergman is a Professor in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Dr. Bergman’s research investigates the relationship between muscle lipids and insulin sensitivity, and he has been continuously funded by the NIH since 2005. His laboratory focuses on two main research themes. One theme seeks to understand the relationship between skeletal muscle subcellular lipid localization and insulin resistance in humans. Specifically, his lab is investigating how the intracellular location, molecular species, and isomers of diacylglycerol and sphingolipids promote insulin resistance in humans. The current study is investigating these changes after insulin sensitizing lifestyle interventions and is funded by R01DK111559. The second research emphasis aims to elucidate how intermuscular adipose tissue impacts skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity, muscle strength, and size in humans. This study combines muscle biopsy visits with elective surgeries to obtain intermuscular, subcutaneous, and visceral adipose tissue biopsies and is funded by R01DK118149.
Dr. Bergman’s laboratory also pursues mechanistic relationships between inter- and intra-muscular lipids and insulin sensitivity using primary muscle cell culture. This model is unique as the phenotype of donor is maintained in culture. They are using this model to determine mechanisms underlying the relationship between localized muscle lipids and insulin sensitivity, and how the secretome of intermuscular adipose tissue promotes insulin resistance. The overall goal of Dr. Bergman’s research is to uncover novel therapeutic targets to increase muscle insulin sensitivity, a need not bet by currently therapies, to help prevent and treat pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Dr. Bergman is also the director of the Molecular and Cellular Analysis core for the Nutrition and Obesity Research Center, and his lab runs a “Lipidomics and Mass Spetrometry core” that is directed by Dr. Karin Zemski Berry.