​Taskforce for Obesity Research at Southwestern (TORS)

The Interdisciplinary Research program has transitioned from Common Fund support. For more information, please visit http://commonfund.nih.gov/Interdisciplinary. Consortium activities may continue to be supported via other sources.




Executive Summary

Obesity and its associated diseases (heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and fatty liver disease) contribute importantly to death and disability in the United States. To develop a comprehensive understanding of the factors that lead to obesity and its complications, we assembled a collaborative interdisciplinary team of experts at UT Southwestern called the Taskforce for Obesity Research at Southwestern (TORS). TORS harnessed expertise from more than 30 investigators from 20 highly diverse disciplines with a goal of defining the behavioral, metabolic, genetic, and cellular mechanisms that lead to the development of obesity and associated diseases. Our studies provided much needed insights into the key molecules and pathways that regulate energy metabolism, which will be translated into the development of new approaches to prevent obesity and to treat the metabolic complications of this disorder.

Consortium Director and Scientists

Horton, Jay L., 1UL1RR024923-01: Taskforce for Obesity Research at Southwestern (TORS)

Cohen, Jonathan C., 1RL1HL092550-01: Genetic Susceptibility to Adverse Metabolic Consequences of

Elmquist, Joel K., 1RL1DK081185-01:Central Mechanisms Regulating Energy Homeostasis

Goldstein, Joseph L., 3P01HL020948-31S1: Fatty Acid Synthesis in Specific Hypothalamic Neurons: Control of Appetite and Energy Homeostasis

Livingston, Edward H., 1PL1DK081183-01: Human Biology Core

Malloy, Craig R., 1RL1DK081186-01: Skeletal Mitochondrial Function, Body Weight, and Diabetes

Mangelsdorf, David J., 1RL1GM084436-01: Role of FGF21 as a Hormonal Mediator of PPARalpha Actions

Parks, Elizabeth Jane, 1RL1DK081187-01: Effect of Dietary Macronutrient Composition and Weight Loss on Liver Substrate Metabolism

Repa, Joyce J., 1RL9DK081180-01: TORS - Interdisciplinary Research Training Program

Russell, David W., 1PL1DK081182-01: Mouse Phenotype Core

Selected Publications

  1. Chuang, J.C., Krishnan, V., Yu, H.G., Mason, B., Cui, H., Wilkinson, M.B., Zigman, J.M., Elmquist, J.K., Nestler, E.J., Lutter, M. 2010. A beta(3)-adrenergic-leptin-melanocortin circuit regulates behavioral and metabolic changes induced by chronic stress. Biol. Psychiatry. 67:1075-1082
  2. Xu, Y., Berglund, E.D., Sohn, J.-W., Holland, W.L., Chuang, J.-C., Fukuda, M., Rossi, J., Williams, K.W., Jones, J.E., Zigman, J.M., Lowell, B.B., Scherer, P.E., Elmquist, J.K. 2010. 5-HT2CRs expressed by pro-opiomelanocortin neurons regulate insulin sensitivity in liver. Nat. Neurosci. 13:1457-1459
  3. Zhao ,T.J., Sakata, I., Li, R.L., Liang, G., Richardson, J.A., Brown, M.S., Goldstein, J.L., Zigman, J.M. 2010. Ghrelin secretion stimulated by {beta}1-adrenergic receptors in cultured ghrelinoma cells and in fasted mice. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 2010 Sep 7;107(36):15868-73
  4. Huang, Y., He, S., Li, J., Seo, Y.K., Osborne, T.F., Cohen, J.C., Hobbs, H.H. 2010. A feed-forward loop amplifies nutritional regulation of PNPLA3. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 107:7892-7897
  5. Holland, W.L., Miller, R.A., Wang, Z.V., Sun, K., Barth, B.M., Bui, H.H., Davis, K.E., Bikman, B.T., Halberg, N., Rutkowski, J.M., Wade, M.R., Tenorio, V.M., Kuo, M.-S., Brozinick, J.T., Zhang, B.B.. Birnbaum, M.J., Summers, S.A., Scherer, P.E. 2011. Receptor-mediated activation of ceramidase activity initiates the pleiotropic actions of adiponectin. Nature Med. 17: 55-63
TORS Consortium Scientists

TORS Consortium Scientists. Clockwise, from upper left: Craig Malloy, M.D., Joyce Repa, Ph.D., David Mangelsdorf, Ph.D., Jonathan Cohen, Ph.D., Joel Elmquist, D.V.M., Ph.D., Elizabeth Parks, Ph.D., David Russel, Ph.D., Jay Horton, M.D.

Image depicts the integrated scientific areas of emphasis for the TORS Consortium.Immunofluorescent images showing reprogramming of adult mouse pancreatic acinar cells to beta cells.

Image depicts the integrated scientific
areas of emphasis for the TORS Consortium.

This page last reviewed on June 25, 2014