Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Center for Translational Metabolism and Health

History

The Center for Translational Metabolism and Health was founded by Dr. Myles Wolf in 2013.  Since its inception, the Center’s mission has been to unravel underlying mechanisms of disease and to propose and test innovative solutions to far-reaching public health problems.  The Center has strived to unite basic, clinical and population scientists in a multidisciplinary approach to translational biomedical research.

The Center’s research has focused on the roles of high dietary phosphate consumption and elevated circulating levels of fibroblast growth factor (FGF23) as novel mechanisms that contribute to development and progression of cardiovascular and kidney diseases. In the Center’s broad portfolio of federally-funded research projects, we have investigated regulation of phosphate and FGF23 homeostasis and their effects on the heart, kidney and other end-organs in the basic science laboratory. We have tested the associations of elevated phosphate and FGF23 levels with clinical outcomes in large population-based epidemiological studies. We have also tested the impact of novel therapeutic approaches to reduce phosphate and FGF23 toxicity in clinical trials. In ongoing research, we have set out to prove that excess consumption of processed foods that contain large amounts of phosphate-based food additives contributes to increased risk of cardiovascular and kidney diseases, and that this is especially problematic in communities with less access to healthy food options, such as minorities and the socioeconomically disadvantaged.  In this way, we have proposed that phosphate and FGF23 toxicity are novel mediators of disparities in cardiovascular and kidney diseases that can be targeted in efforts to restore health equity. Please see About Nutrition and Health for additional description of our research.

As we have expand our efforts to other areas broadly related to nutrition, health and disease, the Center has promoted translational, or “bench to bedside,” research in diverse biomedical disciplines including nephrology, cardiology, pediatrics, epidemiology, genetics, and others.

A major focus of the Center has been to mentor the next generation of scientists and physician-scientists. Trainees have been prominently featured in all areas of our research.  Please see Publications list for our published work.