Matrix Biology


Carrie Elks, PhD, RD

Carrie Elks, PhD, RD

Laboratory Members

Jennifer Bailey, Research Associate

Jennifer Bailey, MS, Research Associate

Research Focus

Our laboratory focuses on paracrine signaling mechanisms that control adipose tissue function, with a special interest in how the adipocyte extracellular matrix influences these mechanisms in obesity. 

About this Lab

Our laboratory uses a variety of in vitro and in vivo approaches to: 1) assess signaling between adipocytes (fat cells) and immune cells, and 2) determine how the extracellular matrix can affect paracrine signaling in fat tissue. Disturbances in this cellular communication network can ultimately lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes and a worsening of Crohn’s Disease in humans, though the mechanisms involved are not entirely known. We seek to uncover new paracrine signaling pathways that regulate adipose tissue function with the ultimate goal of developing better treatments for patients with metabolic diseases.