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Bhagirath Chaurasia, PhD

Contact Information 

Office: 305 EMRB 
Phone: 319-335-0591
Faculty Profile 

Brief description of current research: 

Dyslipidemia and insulin resistance predispose individuals to development of obesity, diabetes, cancer, myocardial infarction and stroke. A large body of evidence suggests that a class of toxic lipids, termed ceramides that is induced during inflammation and obesity, contribute to these metabolic impairments and the ensuing development of these cardiovascular disorders. In mice, blocking ceramide production improves insulin sensitivity, resolves hepatic steatosis and hypertriglyceridemia, and prevents atherosclerosis and heart failure. We recently found that ceramides serve as signals of nutrient excess that alter the metabolic activity of mature adipocytes—and thus the entire organism. Our research program aims to understand how ceramides impair nutrient sensing in adipose tissue and contribute to development of metabolic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases etc. We will address this question using an array of “omics”, genetics, cellular and molecular biology techniques, and mouse physiology with the aim to identify novel ceramide-regulated factors that regulate adipose tissue function. We believe, determination of the roles of these novel effectors of ceramide action will enable us to identify tractable therapeutic targets for combating cardiometabolic disease.

3 most influention diabetes/obesity/metabolism publications:

  • Chaurasia B, Tippetts T, Monibas RM, Liu J, Li Y, Wang L, Wilkerson JL, Sweeney CR, Pereira RF, Sumida DH, Maschek JA, Cox JE, Kaddai V, Lancaster GI, Siddique MM, Poss A, Pearson M, Satapati S, Zhou H, McLaren DG, Previs SF, Chen Y, Qian Y, Petrov A, Wu M, Shen X, Yao J, Nunes CN, Howard AD, Wang L, Erion MD, Rutter J, Holland WL, Kelley DE, Summers SA. Targeting a Ceramide Double Bond Improves Insulin Resistance and Hepatic Steatosis. Science. 2019 365(6451), 386-392.
  • ​Chaurasia B, Kaddai VA, Lancaster GI, Henstridge DC, Sriram S, Galam DL, Gopalan V, Prakash KN, Velan SS, Bulchand S, Tsong TJ, Wang M, Siddique MM, Yuguang G, Sigmundsson K, Mellet NA, Weir JM, Meikle PJ, Bin M Yassin MS, Shabbir A, Shayman JA, Hirabayashi Y, Shiow ST, Sugii S, Summers SA. Adipocyte Ceramides Regulate Subcutaneous Adipose Browning, Inflammation, and Metabolism. Cell Metabolism. 2016 Dec 13;24(6):820-834. # Corresponding author
  • Mauer J*, Chaurasia B*, Goldau J, Vogt MC, Ruud J, Nguyen KD, Theurich S, Hausen AC, Schmitz J, Brönneke HS, Estevez E, Allen TL, Mesaros A, Partridge L, Febbraio MA, Chawla A, Wunderlich FT, Brüning JC. Signaling by IL-6 promotes alternative activation of macrophages to limit endotoxemia and obesity-associated resistance to insulin. Nature Immunology. 2014 May;15(5):423-30. * Shared first author


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