Rutgers GSE CMSI

James Walters

James Walters has a long-term goal is to model, in real time and in living animals the mechanisms behind enterocyte regulation of lipid homeostasis, processes that have important implications for dyslipidemias; including obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Such dynamic events are difficult to model by traditional cell culture and histological approaches. His work has focused on understanding lipid absorption and lipid droplet formation via novel tools that exploit the optical clarity of the Zebrafish embryo, a feature that enables visualization of lipid absorption in live animals. He has developed new imaging strategies, diet and drug delivery methods, and genetic tools advantageous for the proposed study. These studies are the first to directly observe fluorescent lipids, fusion proteins, and reporter gene constructs in defined dietary conditions with single cell resolution. James now plans to use this system to achieve a comprehensive understanding of dietary lipid processing and identify new therapeutic targets for the treatment of dyslipidemia. As faculty at an undergraduate institution, Bluefield State College, that fosters his research, James has the great fortune to pay his experiences forward to teach, to train, and to inspire young minds.