News Release

The science of sugar metabolism

November 21, 2023: It’s a big food week for many Americans. As the internet dusts off its tryptophan-from-turkey factoids for yet another year, we are celebrating new metabolism science from a UC San Diego bioengineering professor and her team. Professor Lingyan Shi and her team are on the cutting edge of the science of sugar metabolism (and the science of fat metabolism.)

Lingyan Shi is a Professor in the Shu Chien-Gene Lay Department of Bioengineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. 

In particular, they were just awarded $1.97M in NIH grant funding to build an imaging platform to visualize sugar metabolic activities in aging and in disease. Sugar such as glucose is an essential nutrient for humans (in addition to being an essential ingredient in cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie). Sugar provides energy to humans and other animals, including fruit flies which are the subject of this research effort – and rest assured, understanding fruit fly metabolism is extremely relevant for understanding human metabolism. Sugars in both humans and fruit flies are building blocks for making new biological materials including proteins, fats, genetic material (RNA/DNA).

The team aims to use the new platform they are building with support for the new NIH grant to reveal the many mysteries of sugar metabolism in different organs. The goal is to translate their findings to better understand aging and it’s connections to many different things including inflammation, metabolism, nutrition and cancer. Read more about the NIH grant here, which will fund approximately $394, 000 per year for 5 years, totalling $1.97million.



Media Contacts

Daniel Kane
Jacobs School of Engineering