It is known that diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome are the result of gene/environment interactions but a newly recognized component of the gene/environment interaction is the gut microbiome. In the Keynote presentation, “The Gut Microbiome as a Modifier of Insulin Resistance and Metabolic Syndrome,” Dr. Ronald Kahn will discuss results of his research in mice which have shown that given different diets, different mice adapt with different microbiomes, some of which are more or less likely to produce insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome. Thus, the microbiome interacts with the genetics of the mouse, and by shifting the microbiome, a mouse genetically at the borderline of becoming insulin resistant, for example, may become less insulin resistant. Dr. Kahn will explain how the gut microbiome is an important mediator of the gene/environment interaction, some of the mechanisms by which the gut microbiome works, and ultimately what the implications are in terms of how we treat patients.
The ever-increasing obesity epidemic has placed that risk factor at the front of cardiovascular disease risk assessment and management. But specifically, how does body fat distribution impact cardiovascular risk? In the Keynote presentation, “Obesity Fat Distribution and Cardiovascular Risk,” Dr. Subodh Verma will evaluate the epidemiology and clinical course of visceral fat as it relates to cardiovascular event rates and explain the mechanistic basis of how visceral adiposity leads to cardiovascular disease. Additionally, Dr. Verma will shed light on the role of epicardial fat tissue as a source of inflammatory cytokines in cardiometabolic risk, critique the literature linking weight reduction to cardiometabolic risk reduction, and discuss the current guidelines for the management of cardiovascular risk in obesity.