Logo for University of Iowa Health Care This logo represents the University of Iowa Health Care

Vitor Lira, PhD

Assistant Professor
Health & Human Physiology

Office: 4324 PBDB
Office Phone: 335-6966


Lab Website: https://lira.lab.uiowa.edu/

Skeletal muscle and heart physiology are promptly affected in obesity and diabetes often leading to skeletal muscle insulin resistance, diabetic cardiomyopathy and heart failure. A common, yet poorly understood, feature of these metabolic diseases is an inefficient turnover of proteins, which ends up compromising cellular and organ functions. Therefore, the central goal of our research is to understand the molecular mechanisms regulating protein turnover in skeletal and cardiac muscles. To this matter, exercise and calorie restriction efficiently counteract these maladaptive processes. We and others have identified the cellular catabolic process of autophagy as playing an instrumental role in these protective adaptations. Currently, we are determining the mechanisms of regulation of the autophagy process and its interaction with other metabolic pathways in skeletal muscle and in the heart. We believe these studies will inform and guide the development of new therapies for obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Department/Program Affiliations:
Health and Human Physiology