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Dr. Lo and Colleagues Publish Key Findings on COVID-19 and Insulin Resistance

Dr. James C. Lo

Dr. James Lo

Dr. James Lo, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, WDOM, and colleagues have published a paper in Cell Metabolism that has revealed hyperglycemia in critically ill patients with COVID-19 is not only caused mainly by insulin resistance but is also associated with decreased circulating adiponectin. The researchers found in both human and mouse models that SARS-CoV-2 is shown to directly infect human adipocytes; specifically, it triggers an inflammatory antiviral response in the adipose tissue (body fat) and causes its dysfunction. The study suggests that COVID-19 may trigger hyperglycemia and worsen disease by harming fat cells.

Dr. Lo led the study in collaboration with other investigators at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian including Dr. Laura Alonso, Chief, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and the Herbert J. and Ann L. Siegel Distinguished Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine; Dr. Robert Schwartz, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Weill Cornell Medicine and a gastroenterologist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center; Dr. Edward Schenck, Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine and a pulmonologist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center; and Dr. Monika Safford, Chief, Division of General Internal Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and the John J. Kuiper Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine. Dr. Robert E. Schwartz is a paid scientific advisory board member for Miromatrix Inc. Dr. Schwartz is a paid speaker and consultant for Alnylam Inc.

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