Chicco Lab

The Chicco laboratory investigates the roles of polyunsaturated fatty acid metabolism and mitochondrial function in cardiometabolic health and disease. Lab members conduct basic, integrative and translational studies utilizing animal models of human disease, dietary and pharmacological interventions, and genetic gain/loss-of-function approaches targeting enzymatic regulators of lipid metabolism. These studies are complimented by collaborative projects with scientists at CSU, around the US and abroad investigating metabolic responses to physiological and pathological stress in humans, laboratory animals and non-model organisms.

research project

Polyunsaturated fatty acid metabolism in cardiometabolic disease

Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) play diverse roles in cell physiology that impact the function of all major body systems in health and disease. Studies in our lab seek to better understand the interaction of dietary PUFA intake and their endogenous metabolism on the development of heart disease and diabetes/insulin resistance.

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research project

Metabolic aspects of early embryo development and fetal programming

Accumulating evidence indicates that metabolic changes in the ovarian follicle, developing embryo, and intrauterine environment impact reproductive potential, fetal health and offspring disease risk. A primary focus of collaborative studies in our lab is to understand the influence of maternal aging and diet on follicular, embryo, and fetal metabolism in equine, ovine, and murine models.

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research project

Mitochondrial Physiology in Health and Disease

Mitochondria play essential roles in cellular energy metabolism, redox balance, and cell fate that regulate organismal responses to physiological and pathogenic stress. Research in our lab investigates how mitochondrial metabolism influences successful adaptation to evolutionary and environmental pressures and the development of human diseases.

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research project

Cardiovascular effects of space radiation

Astronauts on long duration missions beyond low Earth orbit will be confronted with a unique radiation environment that increases risks for adverse health effects, including cancer and cardiovascular disease. Studies in our lab, in collaboration with Dr. Michael Weil at CSU, seek to understand the impact of simulated space radiation exposure on cardiovascular function and disease risk.

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Le CH, Mulligan CM, Routh MA, Bouma GJ, Frye MA, Jeckel KM, Sparagna GC, Lynch JM, Moore RL, McCune SA, Bristow M, Zarini S, Murphy RC, Chicco AJ. Delta-6-desaturase links PUFA metabolism with phospholipid remodeling and disease progression in heart failure. Circ Heart Fail; 7:172, 2014.  PMID 24284026

Li Puma LC, Hedges M, Heckman JM, Mathias AB, Engstrom MR, Brown AB, Chicco AJ. Experimental oxygen concentration influences rates of mitochondrial hydrogen peroxide release from cardiac and skeletal muscle preparations. Am J Physiol Reg Integr Comp Physiol, in press. PMID: 32233925

Le CH, Benage LG, Specht KS, Li Puma LA, Mulligan CM, Heuberger AL, Prenni JE, Claypool SM, Chatfield KC, Sparagna GC, Chicco AJ. Tafazzin-deficiency impairs CoA-dependent oxidative metabolism in cardiac mitochondria. J Biol Chem, in press. PMID: 32665401

Chicco AJ, Le CH, Gnaiger E, Dreyer HC, D’Alessandro A, Nemkov TG, Hocker AD, Prenni JE, Sindt N, Lovering AT, Subudhi AW, Roach RC. Adaptive remodeling of skeletal muscle energy metabolism in high-altitude hypoxia: J Biol Chem 293(18): 6659-6671, 2018. PMID: 29540485

Obeidat Y, Cheng M-H, Catandi G, Carnevale E, Chicco AJ, Chen T. Design of A Multi-Sensor Platform for Integrating Extracellular Acidification Rate with Multi-Metabolite Flux Measurement for Small Biological Samples Biosensors and Bioelectronics 133:39-47, 2019. PMID: 30909011

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Adam J. Chicco, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator, Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences

Office: (970) 491-3605

[email protected]

Asma Omar

Ph.D. Candidate, Biomedical Sciences
Dissertation topic: Programming of fetal metabolism by maternal diet

Portrait of Kyle Fresa smiling
Kyle Fresa

Ph.D. Candidate, Biomedical Sciences
Dissertation topic: Metabolic regulation of embryo development

contact information

Adam J. Chicco, Ph.D.
Department of Biomedical Sciences
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1680

(970) 491-3605