Dr. Gray joined the Northern Medical Program in 2007 and became a Canada Research Chair in the Integrative Physiology of Diabetes in 2013. She is a biomedical researcher examining the underlying mechanisms of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Her research group is interested in understanding how hormones control body weight, with a specific interest in how adipose tissue function is affected by hormones in obesity. In addition to lab-based science, Dr. Gray has recently initiated a clinical research project aiming to understand the high rates of cardio-metabolic disease in patients with mental illness. Dr. Gray’s research group at UNBC provides training opportunities for research fellows, graduate students and undergraduate students in Northern BC.
Research and Expertise
Obesity is a health concern for one in four Canadians and a main risk factor for chronic disease including type 2 diabetes. While obesity and its complications are deemed largely preventable, obesity has proven to be too great a hurdle to overcome through lifestyle interventions alone. Thus, identifying novel strategies to reduce prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes must be a priority to improve the health of Canadians and reduce the economic burden obesity and its complications impose. Rural and remote areas of Canada, such as Northern British Columbia, experience higher rates of diabetes and obesity than urban centers with inequitable health care resources and a disproportionate impact of social determinants of health contributing.
Dr. Gray’s research aims to reduce the burden of obesity and diabetes by developing integrative approaches to prevent obesity and type 2 diabetes by studying the physiological processes regulating energy metabolism. The following three objectives will advance foundational sciences of energy metabolism, while ensuring findings are translated to patients at risk for diabetes and obesity through engagement with pharmacological and clinical research:
1. Elucidate endocrine networks modulating energy metabolism and body weight regulation.
2. Develop novel therapeutic approaches that modulate energy metabolism to reduce the burden of obesity and diabetes.
3. Mobilize foundational science to knowledge users to enhance management of patients at risk of obesity and diabetes
- (2017) Saatchi K., Tod SE, Leung D, Nicholson KE, Andreu, I, Buchwalder C, Schmitt V, Häfeli UO, Gray SL. Characterization of alendronic- and undecylenic acid coated magnetic nanoparticles for the targeted delivery of rosiglitazone to subcutaneous adipose tissue. Nanomedicine. 13(2):559-568.
- (2016) Rudecki, A and Gray SL. PACAP in the defense against Energy Homeostasis. Trends Endocrinol Metab, Cell Press. (9):620-32.
- (2014) Diané A, Nikolic N, Rudecki A, King SN, Bowie DJ, Gray SL. Pituitary Adenylate Cyclase-Activating Polypeptide (PACAP) is essential for the Adaptive Thermogenic Response of Brown Adipose Tissue to Cold Exposure. Journal of Endocrinology, 222(3):327‐339.
- (2014) Hogh KN, Craig MN, Uy CE, Nygren H, Asadi A, Speck M, Fraser JD, Rudecki AP, Baker R, Oresic M, Gray SL. Overexpression of PPARγ Specifically in Pancreatic β-Cells Exacerbates Obesity-Induced Glucose Intolerance, Reduces β-Cell Mass, and Alters Islet Lipid Metabolism in Male Mice. Endocrinology, 155(10):3843-3852.
- (2007) Gray SL and Vidal-Puig A. Adipose tissue expandability in the maintenance of metabolic homeostasis. Nutrition Reviews 65(6 Pt 2):S7-S12.
For all of Dr. Sarah Gray’s publications, please visit PubMed (search “Sarah L. Gray”).
- Research Associate, University of British Columbia (Cellular & Physiological Sci), 2006-2007
- Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Cambridge UK (Clinical Biochemistry), 2003-2006
- PhD, University of Victoria (Endocrinology), 1997-2002
- BSc, University of Victoria (Biology), 1992-1996