Academic Faculty

Michelle T. Foster, Ph.D.

Michelle T. Foster, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

207 Gifford Building | (970) 491-6189 | michelle.foster@colostate.edu


Research Interests:

Research Interest Phrases
  • Adipose Tissue Regulation (Metabolic and Adipokine)
  • Diet Induced Obesity and Hepatic Steatosis
  • Visceral Fatty Acids Relation to Insulin Resistance
  • Adipose Removal Induced Metabolic Improvements
Specific Interest

Obesity is the net result of an imbalance between energy intake and energy expenditure; i.e., an excess of energy intake without increased expenditure will eventually lead to increased adipose mass. Several lines of evidence imply that obesity-related adverse health consequences occur predominately in individuals with upper body fat distribution commonly associated with increased visceral adipose tissue. Metabolic disorders derived from upper body/visceral obesity includes dyslipidemia, hypertension, insulin resistance and type-2-diabetes. The primary goal of this lab is to establish the role visceral obesity plays in metabolic dysfunction and if the effects are due to anatomical site (venous drainage to the liver) and/or substrate release.


Education:

  • Berry College, Rome, GA (1995-1997), majoring in biochemistry
  • Spelman College, Atlanta, GA (1997-2000), B.S. in chemistry
  • Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA (2000-2005), Ph.D. in Neurobiology and Behavior, Advisor Tim Bartness
  • University of California, San Francisco (Department of Physiology), (2005-2007), Fellow with Mary Dallman
  • University of Cincinnati (Department of Psychiatry), (2007-2010), Fellow with Stephen Woods and Randall Sakai

Professional Experience:

  • 1999 Internship (Laboratory Assistant), Case Western Reserve University- School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH
  • 1999-2000 Scientist I, Kimberly Clark Corporation (Analytical Division), Roswell, GA
  • 2000-2005 PhD Candidate, Georgia State University (Department Neuroscience and Behavior), Atlanta, GA.
  • 2005-2007 Post-Doc, University of California, San Francisco (Department of Physiology), San Francisco, CA.
  • 2007-2010 Post-Doc, University of Cincinnati, Medical School (Department of Psychiatry), Cincinnati, OH
  • 2010-2011 Research Assistant Professor, University of Cincinnati, Medical School (Department of Psychiatry), Cincinnati, OH
  • 2011-Present Assistant Professor, Colorado State University (Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition), Fort Collins, CO

Other Experience and Professional Memberships:

  • 2001-Present - Member, Society for Neuroscience
  • 2001-Present - Member, American Physiological Society
  • 2001-Present - Member, Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior
  • 2005-Present - Member, American Neuroendocrine Society
  • 2010-Present - Member, Keystone Symposia
  • 2011-Present - Editorial Board, Adipoctye
  • 2012-Present - Member, The Obesity Society
  • 2012-Present – Planning Committee, CSU Multicultural Undergraduate Research and Leadership Conference
  • 2013-Present - Review Panel Member, NIH/NIAAA – AA-1 Study Section

Honors and Awards:

  • 2000 Commended by Ohio State Representative for being an Outstanding Student
  • 2000-2005 Center for Behavioral Neuroscience Scholarship
  • 2005 Biology Department Endowment Award (2005)
  • 2005 Excellence in Teaching (2005)
  • 2006 Press Release - Foster, M.T., Solomon, M.B., Human, K. and Bartness,. T.J. Social Defeat Increases Food Intake, and Body and Fat Mass in Syrian Hamsters. Am J Physiol.: 1284-93
  • 2008 Research and Technical Careers in Industry Conference Travel Award, Sponsored by Procter & Gamble
  • 2008 NIDDK Network of Minority Research Investigators – Travel Award
  • 2008 Translational Highlight in Endocrinology - Foster, M.T., Warne, J.P., Ginsberg, A.B. Horneman, H.F., Pecoraro, N.C., Akana, S.F, and Dallman, M.F. Palatable foods, stress and energy stores sculpt corticotropin-releasing factor, adrenocorticotropin and corticosterone concentrations after restraint. Endocrinology
  • 2010 Keystone Symposia Scholariship – Travel Award
  • 2010 National Institute of General Medical Sciences Workshop - Travel Award
  • 2010 Diabetes and Obesity Center of Excellence Retreat – Poster Award Winner
  • 2011, 2012 NIDDK Network of Minority Research Investigators – Travel Award
  • 2011 NIDDK Awardees Workshop – Travel Award
  • 2011 Basic Science Research Award, NIDDK, NMRI
  • 2012, 2013 College of Applied Human Science Mini-Grant Award
  • 2013 AGEP Minority Recruitment Grant

Most Relevant to Current Interests:

  • Foster M.T., Softic S., Caldwell J., Kohli R., de Kloet A.D., Seeley R.J and Woods S.C. Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue Transplantation in Diet-induced Obese Mice Attenuates Metabolic Dysregulation While Removal Exacerbates It. Physiological Reports Aug 1(2) (2013) PMID: 2391498
  • Pagliassotti M.J., Moran G., Estrada A. and Foster M.T. Endoplasmic reticulum stress in obesity: Adipose Tissue and Adipokines in Health and Disease (2nd Edition). Carol Braunschweig and Giamila Fantuzzi, editors. Springer Publishers (In Press).
  • Foster M.T. and Pagliassotti M.J. Metabolic Risk Of Visceral Fat Expansion: Not Simply Anatomical Location. Adipocyte Oct/Nov/Dec 1(4) (2012)
  • Bajzer M., Olivieri M., Haas M., Pfluger P., Magrisso I., Foster M.T., Tschöp M., Krawczewski Carhuatanta K., Cota D. and Obici S. CB1 Antagonism Enhances Glucose Utilization and Activates Brown Adipose Tissue in Diet-Induced Obese Mice. Accepted, Diabetologia Dec; 54(12): 3121-31 (2011); PMID 21987346
  • Foster M.T., Shi H., Softic S., Kohli K., Seeley R.J and Woods S.C. Visceral Adipose Transplantation-Induced Improvements in Glucose Tolerance in Mice: Alterations in Liver Fat Metabolism. Diabetologia Nov; 54(11): 2890-9 (2011); PMID 21805228
  • Foster M.T., Shi H., Seeley R.J and Woods S.C. Intra-abdominal Visceral and Non-visceral Adipose Tissue Removal Improves Glucose Tolerance in Rats: Prospective Role of Hepatic Triglyceride Storage. Physiol Behav. Oct 24; 104(5): 845-54 (2011); PMID 21683727
  • Foster M.T., Shi H., Seeley R.J and Woods S.C. Transplantation or Removal of Visceral Adipose Tissue Prevents Aged-Induced Glucose Insensitivity. Physiology and Behavior Sep; 1; 101(2): 282-8 (2010); PMID 20570685
  • Foster, M.T., Song C.K. and Bartness, T.J. Hypothalamic Paraventricular Nucleus Lesion Involvement in the Sympathetic Control of Lipid Mobiliztion, Obesity April; 18(4):682-9 (2010); PMID 19851310
  • Foster, M.T. and Bartness, T.J. Sympathetic, But Not Sensory Denervation Stimulates White Adipocyte Proliferation. Am J Physiol: 291(6): 1630-7, 2006; R1630-7; PMID 16887921
  • Bartness, T.J., Song, C.K., Shi, H., Bowers, R.R. and Foster, M.T. Brain-Adipose Tissue Crosstalk. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society. 64 (2005): 53-64
Other Publications
  • de Kloet A.D., Krause E.G., Scott K.A., Foster M.T., Herman J.P., Sakai R.R., Seeley R.J. and Woods S.C. Central Angiotensin-II has Catabolic Action at White and Brown Adipose Tissue. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. Dec; 301(6): E1081-91 (2011); PMID 21862725
  • Solomon M.B., Woods S.C., Sakai R.R. and Foster M.T. Metabolic Consequences Associated with Social Stress in the Syrian Hamster: Role of Glucocorticoids. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. Aug: 301(2): E307-16 (2011); PMID 21540447
  • Shi H., Akunuru S., Bierman J.C., Hodge K.M., Mitchell C., Foster M.T., Seeley R.J., and Reizes O. Diet Induced Obese Mice Are Glucose Tolerant and Leptin Sensitive after Weight Reduction, Obesity Sep;17(9):1702-9 (2009); PMID 19373220
  • Foster, M.T., Warne, J.P., Ginsberg, A.B. Horneman, H.F., Pecoraro, N.C., Akana, S.F, and Dallman, M.F. Palatable foods, stress and energy stores sculpt corticotropin-releasing factor, adrenocorticotropin and corticosterone concentrations after restraint. Endocrinology: 150(5): 2325-33, (2009); PMID: 19106219
  • Warne J.P., Horneman H.F., Akana S.F, Foster M.T. and Dallman M.F. Insulin and the Constituent Branches of the Hepatic Vagus Regulate Hypothalamic and Limbic Neuropeptide mRNA Expression in Streptozotocin-Diabetic Rats. Journal of Neuroendocrinology (2008): 20(9): 1067-77
  • Warne J.P., Foster M.T., Horneman H.F., Pecoraro N.C., de Jong H.K., Ginsberg A.B. and Dallman M.F.. “The Gastroduodenal Branch of the Common Hepatic Vagus Regulates Voluntary Lard Intake, Fat Deposition and Plasma Metabolite Levels”. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab: 294(1): 190-200, 2008; PMID: 17971508
  • Warne J.P, Foster M.T., Horneman H.F., Pecoraro N.C., Ginsberg A.B., Akana S.F. and Dallman M.F. Afferent Signaling through the Common Hepatic Branch of the Vagus Inhibits Voluntary Lard Intake and Modifies Plasma Metabolite Levels in Rats. Journal of Physiology: 583(Pt 2) 455-67, 2007; PMID 17584842
  • Warne J.P., Horneman H.F., Ginsberg A.B., Pecoraro N.C., Foster M.T., Akana S.F. and Dallman M.F. Mapping Brain c-Fos Immunoreactivity after Insulin-induced Voluntary Lard Intake in Streptozotocin Diabetic Rats. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, (2007): 19(10): 794-808
  • Dallman M.F., Warne J.P., Foster M.T. and Pecoraro N.C. Glucocorticoids and Insulin Both Modulate Caloric Intake Through Actions on the Brain. Journal of Physiology (2007): 583(Pt 2): 431-6
  • Dallman, M.F., Akana, S.F., Pecoraro, N.C., Warne, J.P., la Fleur, S.E. and Foster, M.T. Glucocorticoids, the Etiology of Obesity and the Metabolic Syndrome. Current Alzheimer Research (2007): 4(2): 199-204
  • Warne J.P, Foster M.T., Horneman H.F., Pecoraro N.C., Ginsberg A.B., Akana S.F. and Dallman M.F. Hepatic Branch Vagotomy, Like Insulin Replacement, Promotes Voluntary Lard Intake in Streptozotocin-Diabetic Rats. Endocrinology: 148(7): 3288-98, 2007; PMID: 17412812
  • Dallman, M.F., Foster, M.T. and Warne, J.P. Stress and Neural Involvement in Metabolism: Consequences of the Stress Response. Encyclopedia of Neuroscience 4th Edition (2007)
  • Solomon, M.B., Foster, M.T., Bartness, T.J. and Huhman, K.L. Social Defeat and Footshock Increases Body and Lipid Mass in Male Syrian Hamsters. Am J Physiol: 292(1): 283-90, 2006; R283-90; PMID 16946084
  • Foster, M.T., Solomon, M.B., Human, K. and Bartness, T.J. Social Defeat Increases Food Intake, and Body and Fat Mass in Syrian Hamsters. Am J Physiol.: 290(5): 1284-93, 2006; R1284-93; PMID 16373439

Book Chapters:

  • NIH Minority Supplement Award (2001-2005)
  • NIH/NIDDK: T32 Program in the Neuroendocrinology of Homeostasis (2007-2010)
  • NIH/NIDDK K01 Mentored Research Scientist Development Award, Mentors: Stephen Woods and Patrick Tso (2010-2014)

Research Support:

Ongoing Research Support

  • The Role of Subcutaneous Fat Storage in Insulin Resistance, NORC DK048250 Effective Dates: 8/01/2013-7/31/2014 NIH, NIDDK The intent of this proposal is to systematically examine whether and how peripheral adipose tissue serves a protective role in obesity
  • The Role of Visceral Fatty Acids in Relation to Insulin Resistance, 1 K01 DK087816 Effect Dates: 05/04/2010-03/31/2014 NIH NIDDK Type of Award: Mentored
  • The goal of this proposal is to determine the link between adipocyte expansion and FA retention in the visceral bed and insulin resistance/glucose intolerance. Dr. Foster’s role is to perform experiments, collect data and prepare manuscripts.

Completed Research Support

  • Metabolic Consequences of Social Interaction in the Visible Burrow System, T32 DK059803 Effect Dates: 09/01/2007-05/03/2010 NIH NIDDK Type of Award: Mentored The goal was to be trained in multiple aspects of neuroendocrinology with particular focus on the intersection between stress and metabolic neuroendocrinology.
  • Central Nervous System Regulation of Adipose Tissue Accumulation NIH Minority Supplement Award Effective Dates: 05/01/2001-10/01/2005 NIH NIDDK Type of Award: Mentored The goal was to be educated and trained in techniques and procedures useful in neuroscience and behavior research.

Pending

  • NIH R03 (PAR-13-074) Effective Dates: 4/1/2014-3/31/2017 NIH NIDDK Title: Understanding the Biology of the Plasticity of Visceral Fat The goal is to attempts to examine how extrinsic communication and concomitant adipocyte function of the visceral adipose depot are altered following energy storage perturbations.
  • NIH R03 (PAR-09-230) Effective Dates: 9/16/2012-9/07/2015 NIH, NIDDK Title: Metabolic Benefits of Peripheral Adipose Tissue Accumulation The goal is to establish how peripheral subcutaneous adipose tissue protects against the secondary consequences of obesity.