Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in developed countries. Metabolic syndrome, the multiple risk factors that correlate with metabolic abnormalities, is a collection of interconnected atherogenic risk factors including obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, insulin resistance, and hyperglycemia. My long-term goal is to develop a causative therapy/prevention on atherogenesis, which is the dominant cause of fatal cardiovascular disease, in relate to metabolism syndrome.
My early work focused on vascular smooth muscle cell biology as well as angiotensin system, to illustrate the cellular and molecular mechanisms, and the signaling transduction pathways involved in the development of atherosclerosis as well as cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure. Afterwards, I continued exploring the signaling transduction pathway in cancer immunity. Thymidine Phosphorylase (TYMP) is an enzyme involved in the pyrimidine salvage pathway. It has strong pro-angiogenic effect through enhancing endothelial cell chemotaxis. It also inhibits apoptosis in cancer cells. My current work mainly focused on unrevealing roles of TYMP on development of chronic diseases, including metabolic syndrome, cancer, and atherosclerosis. Ongoing research uses genetic, dietary, and pharmacological approaches to explore novel strategies to prevent and treat those chronic diseases.