Dr. Andrew Lutkewitte’s primary interests are understanding the dynamic regulation of lipid storage during stress conditions and how these processes are directly linked to disease outcome. His PhD training in whole animal physiology in the context of obesity and diabetes has given him a breath of knowledge for which he have built upon throughout his postdoc. His dissertation work involved discovering the molecular mechanisms behind epidermal growth factor signaling and survival during metabolic stress in liver. As growth and metabolism coalesce, his next stage of training is in Dr. Brian Finck’s laboratory to gain a fuller understanding of hepatic metabolism, with a heavy emphasis on lipids. Thus far, he has executed several studies involving metabolic response to fasting, a driver of adipose lipolysis and hepatic lipid accumulation, as well as phosphatidic acid’s role in injury following acetaminophen overdose. His current project examines how adipose tissue storage of bioactive lipids prevents their accumulation and damaging effects on other tissues such as muscle and liver.
These findings have the potential to generate novel therapeutic targets for improving obesity-induced insulin resistance and related diseases. In the next few years, he will continue to move towards his long-term career goal, which is to become a principal investigator. He will focus his work in metabolism with an emphasis on obesity-induced metabolic changes and organ cross-talk. He is very excited to be a part of the next generation of researchers building upon the success of his previous mentors. As such, mentoring and teaching are fundamental to his career goals. He has and will continue to emphasize strong mentoring approaches in his research and actively engage in teaching not only through research, but also in a classroom setting at both the graduate and undergraduate level. He believes that fostering the next generation of research scientist guarantees success for both current and future biomedical research.