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Massachusetts General Hospital

Nutritional Metabolism Training Program

Dr. Steven Grinspoon

Dr. Steven GrinspoonThe MGH Program in Nutritional Metabolism was recently formed under the direction of Dr. Steven Grinspoon, a recognized expert in metabolic, body composition and hormonal changes in HIV-infected patients. The Program, with three faculty members and two current trainees, is located in 1800 square feet of newly renovated office space in Charles River Park, adjacent to the Mass General Hospital.

Program Focus

A major investigative focus of the Program is the study of the effects of undernutrition on pituitary function and gonadal steroid regulation in HIV-infected patients. For example, investigators in this group demonstrated a high prevalence of gonadal steroid deficiency related to weight loss and adrenal androgen shunting in HIV-infected patients and significant effects of gonadal steroid administration on muscle mass in this population. In addition, Dr. Hadigan has pursued the novel phenomenon of insulin resistance among HIV-infected patients. Recent collaborations with Vernon Young at MIT have demonstrated increased lipolysis in patients with HIV lipodystrophy and improvement in insulin sensitivity with acute suppression of lipolysis. A recent study on the successful treatment of insulin resistance and modulation of cardiovascular risk with metformin was published in JAMA. A second major Program initiative is the study of adipocyte signaling on pituitary function in undernutrition. Studies performed by Dr. Grinspoon with Dr. Karen Miller, a former trainee, demonstrate reduced leptin levels in normal weight subjects with hypothalamic amenorrhea and reduced fat intake. The effects of rhLeptin on neuroendocrine function in fasting are now being studied.

Research Fellow Training

Dr. Grinspoon, Program Director and PI of the grant has been successful in training research fellows in nutrition-related clinical research. Two recent fellows, Dr. Colleen Hadigan and Dr. Jeannie Huang have successfully obtained K-23 training grants and are now faculty members, investigating dietary influences in the lipodystrophy syndrome (Dr. Colleen Hadigan) and effects of body composition on bone in HIV-infected patients (Dr. Jeannie Huang). Dr’s. Huang and Hadigan completed Clinical training in the Combined Harvard Program in Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition and specifically sought training in clinical investigation under Dr. Grinspoon, in the Nutritional Metabolism Program. In addition, each completed an MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health to further solidify training in quantitative methodologies. These examples of cross-training and fertilization resulting from the rich network of collaborating programs at Harvard is a strength of the proposed grant, which will facilitate interdisciplinary training in sophisticated clinical and translational nutrition research techniques through a select group of well-established Program Faculty in related fields of nutrition research.

For further information regarding application contact:

Dr. Steven Grinspoon, Director,
Massachusetts General Hospital Program in Nutritional Metabolism
55 Fruit St., Boston, MA, 02114
Tel.(617) 726-3890
Fax. (617) 726-5072

Download the biographical sketch of Dr. Grinspoon in PDF format.

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