Research & Initiatives

The Al Batran laboratory aim to discover new therapeutic targets for the treatment and management of obesity related metabolic diseases. We welcome researchers, students and organisations to join us in advancing research on this subject.

Obesity is a chronic disease characterized by the presence of excessive and/or dysfunctional adipose tissues (fat) that impairs the health and wellbeing of individuals. Epidemiologically, obesity is defined by as a body mass index (BMI) of ≥ 30 kg/m2.


In the past few decades, an obesity epidemic has led to an explosion in type 2 diabetes (T2D), non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). An estimated 340 million people worldwide are living with diabetes, of which 90% is accounted for by T2D. Approximately 50% of these individuals will eventually die of CVDs, primarily from either myocardial infarction (MI) and/or heart failure (HF). Thus, there has been an increased effort to understand how obesity increases the risk for T2D, and consequently, how both obesity and T2D increase the risk for CVDs such as MI and HF.


Intriguingly, obesity perturbs energy metabolism in many of the body’s organs, including the liver, skeletal muscle, heart, brain, and even the adipose tissue itself. Hence, our lab goal is to further elucidate the perturbations in energy metabolism that take place during obesity, and our working hypothesis is that correcting these perturbations in energy metabolism will provide a plethora of potential drug targets for improving obesity and its associated comorbidities such as T2D, NAFLD and CVD.