Our mission at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Diabetes and Cholesterol Metabolism Center (DCMC) is to provide state-of-the-art care for persons with cholesterol and diabetes problems. Importantly, we have been concentrating our efforts in the discovery of new genes that affect cholesterol metabolism and glucose control.
Dr. Rodriguez's team has been a pioneer in identifying patients who have deficiency of the HDL receptor, also called scavenger receptor class B type I or SR-BI. Deficiency of this receptor is associated with higher fractions of the good, HDL, cholesterol fraction, but surprisingly this is associated with risk for hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). Yes, patients can have high levels of the good cholesterol but still have heart disease. Also surprisingly, some women with deficiency of the SR-BI receptor can have problems with fertility. This is because this SR-BI receptor is important in the production of the female hormone, progesterone, which is vital to fertility. The Johns Hopkins DNA Diagnostic Lab now offers a genetic test for deficiency of the SR-BI receptor, You can reach the DNA Lab with this link.
Dr. Rodriguez's team is also doing research work to examine the association of this SR-BI receptor with insulin action, as her work and that of others also suggests an important link between cholesterol and blood glucose control.
Dr. Rodriguez's team has been successful in competing for funding from prestigious sources such as the National Institutes of Health and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. This type of cutting edge research requires strong financial support. Please consider making a financial contribution to Dr. Rodriguez's Diabetes Metabolism Fund. Her team has a proven track record for innovation, and your contribution will go a long way to finding better treatments for patients with deficiency of the HDL, SR-BI, receptor, and for the identification of other genes involved in cholesterol metabolism and diabetes.