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At the Bergman Laboratory in the Cedars-Sinai Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute, we are studying the relationships between obesity, insulin resistance, and diabetes. We are examining the mechanisms by which increased stored fat reduces the sensitivity of tissues, especially skeletal muscle and fat, to the hormone insulin. We are studying why resistance to the hormone insulin predisposes individuals to diabetes mellitus, defined as increased blood glucose. Our goal is to identify compounds or procedures that can reduce obesity or that can suppress the linkage between obesity and insulin resistance, and between insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes. We are studying the mechanisms underlying beta-cell failure, and how failure of the pancreatic beta cells interacts with insulin resistance to cause diabetes. We are examining therapies for diabetes, including implanted devices to treat the disease, as well as stem-cell (regenerative medicine) approaches to compensate for reduced beta-cell function. We are studying the importance of the gut-brain axis in glucose regulation, particularly with regard to the gut hormone GLP-1 and how signals in the abdominal portal vein are detected by specific sensors, and the role of said sensors in carbohydrate metabolism.