Our basic science laboratory is interested in how different types of lipids (lipoproteins) subspecies of lipoproteins (or lipids) are altered as a result of metabolic diseases.  We use an integrated approach that combines basic science, molecular laboratory techniques, and noninvasive cardiovascular imaging tools to study how adolescent onset obesity and type 2 diabetes contributes to the development of cardiovascular disease.  The identification of how specific lipids are altered as a result of obesity and diabetes offers unique opportunities to improve our current therapies to prevent and limit early onset cardiovascular disease in adolescents.

We know that each lipid class is heterogeneous.  For example, HDL can be divided into many different subspecies based on their size, charge or density.  Our lab separates HDL into different subspecies by size using gel filtration chromatography. Then we investigate each of the different subspecies and evaluate how they are altered in disease states.  Our research interests include:

  1. Characterizing HDL subspecies and understanding how obesity, insulin resistance and diabetes alter their composition and function.
  2. Understanding how reversal of metabolic diseases through weight loss (bariatric surgery) influences HDL subspecies composition and function.
  3. Developing novel assays to study how HDL subspecies’ protect against cardiovascular disease.
  4. Understanding how HDLs, with 95 different cell surface proteins, interact to execute HDL functions such as reverse cholesterol transport, antioxidation, anti-inflammation, etc.
  5. Establishing the relationship between altered high density lipoproteins and early atherosclerosis measured non-invasively in adolescents.

We work closely with the Davidson Laboratory at the University of Cincinnati.

We also work with other researchers and clinicians across the US. We welcome students and trainees. For more information, please email amy.shah@cchmc.org.

Clinical Research

The Shah Lab also participates in clinical research. We have numerous ongoing clinical research studies for adolescents. Our lab is interested in the effects of youth-onset type 2 diabetes on the heart, vasculature and the developing brain.  

Dr. Shah also heads the Adolescent Type 2 Diabetes Clinic at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.  If your son or daughter has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, learn more about our multidisciplinary clinic.

We also partner with industry to bring new drug treatments to adolescents. Ongoing trials include the use of already approved adult drugs to treat high LDL cholesterol, high triglycerides, and type 2 diabetes.  If you are interested in participating in any of our clinical trials, please contact us at amy.shah@cchmc.org.