Diabetes, Obesity & Metabolism

Combating Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders

Diabetes, obesity and metabolic disorders are at epidemic levels in the United States. At Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, we have been researching these conditions for over 30 years, making obesity and related metabolic diseases one of our top six strategic areas of research. Our comprehensive approach, bringing scientists and clinicians together to collaborate on novel interventions, can help you move your treatments out of the laboratory and into the clinic.


When you partner with Wake Forest Innovations, you gain access to key resources and expertise for preclinical metabolic disease research. Our researchers are experienced in model development—from rodents to nonhuman primates—and can help you develop and validate novel models of metabolic disorders. Along with our experts, you can access our in-house laboratories that provide qualitative and quantitative analytics on a variety of endpoints.

Coupled with our resources is a depth of experience with large animals. In addition to facilities and personnel dedicated to the study and care of the animals, our on-site diet laboratory provides custom diets to induce specific disease-states against which to test your intervention.  We are skilled at sourcing the right animal for the study, including offering unique research opportunities through our colony of multi-generational, pedigreed and genomically-sequenced vervet/African green monkeys. These animals naturally develop type 2 diabetes in ways that mimic the human progression of the disease. There is a cohort of these animals available at any one time, ready to be used in small trials or pilots.

Key Areas of Research

  • Diet-induced metabolic disorders
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Insulin sensitivity and resistance
  • Obesity-related cardiovascular conditions
  • NAFLD and NASH
  • Lipid and lipoprotein profiling
  • Effects of diet on gene expression
  • β-cell regeneration


Wake Forest Baptist has brought cutting-edge interventions for diabetes, obesity and metabolism to our regional patient population for over 30 years. As pioneers in the treatment of weight management, we opened one of the few comprehensive weight management clinics in the U.S. in 2012. Since then, we have served our patients with the most current weight loss interventions. When you collaborate with us, you gain access to a wide range of clinicians, surgeons, scientists and pediatricians who are experienced in clinical research and trials.

Our surgical program, staffed by experience bariatric surgeons, has been recognized by the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery as a Surgery Center of Excellence. Dedicated research laboratories such as the Lipid, Lipoprotein and Atherosclerosis Analysis Laboratory provide support for clinical projects.

Key Areas of Research

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Lipoprotein metabolism disorders
  • NAFLD and NASH
  • Obesity and weight loss (surgical, medical or lifestyle)
  • Aging-related metabolic disorders
  • Pediatric obesity, endocrine and metabolic disorders

Let's Discuss Your Metabolic Research

Discover how we can contribute to the resources at your disposal to investigate diabetes, metabolic disorders and obesity related research questions.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.