Tara TeSlaa, Ph.D.
Positions & Affiliations:
Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology
Our lab studies how organismal and tissue metabolism is altered in metabolic diseases and how these alterations lead to cell and tissue dysfunction. Using in vivo stable isotope tracing, we are able to trace how nutrients are used in the body. This methodology enables us to gain a deeper understanding of the metabolic mechanisms that drive diseases such as type 2 diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). One focus of the lab follows up on previous work in which we found large differences in glucose metabolism in different types of muscle fiber- red muscle fibers (type I and IIA) exhibit large glycolytic fluxes in sedentary animals while white muscle fibers have low glycolytic flux except during exercise. Current and future work seeks to understand mechanistically what drives high glycolysis in the red muscle fibers with the goal of identifying novel ways activate glycolysis and overcome muscle insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes. Another focus of the lab is to understand the metabolic changes that occur during the progression of NAFLD/NASH. We aim to dissect the metabolic drivers of fibrosis in the liver with the goal of identifying novel therapeutic targets.
2007: B.S. St. Peter’s University: Biochemistry, Mathematics, Biotechnology
2008: M.S. University of California, Los Angeles: Biomedical Engineering
2017: Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles: Molecular Biology
2017-2022: Postdoctoral Fellow – Princeton University, Rabinowitz Lab
2022-present: Assistant Professor – University of California, Los Angeles