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Presenter Profiles: ADA Diabetes Journal Symposium—It Is All in Your Head—Central Nervous System Control of Systemic Metabolism

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2024 Presenter Profiles

ADA Diabetes Journal Symposium—It Is All in Your Head—Central Nervous System Control of Systemic Metabolism

Sunday, June 23, at 8:00 a.m. ET
Room W308
Orange County Convention Center


Central Nervous System Regulation of Systemic Glucose—Lessons Learned from the Adaptation to Exercise

Kevin Williams, PhD
Kevin Williams, PhD

Kevin Williams, PhD

Associate Professor,
The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

What is your presentation about?
My presentation explores how the activity of certain brain cells play a key role in linking exercise to improved blood glucose regulation. We studied how these neurons help improve insulin sensitivity and overall glucose metabolism when activated by high-intensity exercise.

How do you hope your presentation will impact diabetes research or care?
I hope it provides insights into the neural mechanisms behind exercise-induced improvements in insulin sensitivity. By identifying the requirement of neurons and cellular processes at play for these benefits, we open up new avenues for targeting these neurons in therapeutic interventions. This could lead to more effective strategies for enhancing insulin sensitivity and managing glucose levels in individuals with diabetes, ultimately improving patient outcomes.

How did you become involved with this area of diabetes research or care?
My interest in this area began with a broader fascination of how lifestyle factors, particularly exercise, influence metabolic health. Recognizing that the brain plays a central role in regulating energy balance and glucose homeostasis, I was drawn to explore the specific neuronal circuits involved. We developed mouse models to dissect these complex interactions, leading to our current research focus and potential implications for diabetes management.


Neural Signaling To and From Adipose Tissue in the Regulation of Metabolic Health

Kristy L. Townsend, PhD
Kristy L. Townsend, PhD

Kristy L. Townsend, PhD

Associate Professor
The Ohio State University

What is your presentation about?
This talk is about how the peripheral nervous system enables communication between the brain and adipose (fat) tissues in the maintenance of metabolic health. I will specifically talk about adipose tissue healthy functions that prevent diabetes, and the role of the nervous system in those functions, as well as how diabetic peripheral neuropathy negatively impacts neural control of adipose health.

How do you hope your presentation will impact diabetes research or care?
Unhealthy adipose, including with obesity, predisposes to development of diabetes. An important way for adipose to maintain healthy functions is through control elicited by the nerves that innervate the tissue, but with diabetes this nerve supply can be lost through the development of peripheral neuropathy.

How did you become involved with this area of diabetes research or care?
We are a neuroscience lab interested in how the brain and peripheral nerves impact energy balance and metabolic health, and peripheral neuropathy as the #1 cause of neurodegeneration in humans is a prominent feature of metabolic disease states including obesity, diabetes and aging.

Register Today for the 84th Scientific Sessions


Join us in Orlando for the 84th Scientific Sessions, June 21-24. Full in-person registration includes access to all of the valuable onsite content during the meeting and on-demand access to the virtual program June 25-Aug. 26. For those unable to join us in-person, we are planning a virtual program to allow as many people as possible to participate and learn about the latest advances in diabetes research, prevention, and care.