Jean-Paul Kovalik

Assistant Professor


Contact: 66013144


2002 Vanderbilt University School of MedicineM.D., PhD
1993 California Institute of Technology BS, Biology


2010-2012 Duke University Medical Center Fellow, Nephrology      
2004-2008 Duke University Medical Center Fellow, Endocrinology
2002-2004 Duke University Medical Center Resident, Internal Medicine

Weight gain and accumulation of excess fat stores greatly increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Although the mechanisms linking excess triglyceride accumulation to diabetes are still unclear adipose tissue plays an important role since its primary function is the safe storage and handling of lipid. With the onset of obesity adipocytes undergo changes in fatty acid handling and adipokine secretion that are drivers of the insulin resistance phenotype. We are interested in studying the metabolic changes that occur in adipocytes after triglyceride loading. We have found that alterations in the flow of substrates in fuel oxidation pathways can have a substantial impact on adipocyte physiologic function. Our focus is on identifying the metabolic signals that link fuel oxidation pathways with adipocyte processes such as lipolysis, adipokine secretion and insulin action.

1. Muoio DM, Noland RC, Kovalik JP, Seiler SE, Davies MN, DeBalsi K, Ilkayeva OR, Stevens RD, Kheterpal I, Zhang J, Covington JD, Bajpeyi S, Ravussin E, Kraus W, Koves TR and Mynatt RL (2012). Muscle-specific Deletion of Carnitine Acetyltransferase Compromises Glucose Tolerance and Metabolic Flexibility. Cell Metabolism.15(5):764-777.

2. Koves T, Sparks L, Kovalik JP, Mosedale M, Arumugam R, DeBalsi K, Everingham K, Thorne L, Phielix E, Meex R, Kien CL, Hesselink M, Schrauwen P, Muoio DM (2013). PPARγ Coactivator-1a Contributes to Exercise-Induced Regulation of Intramuscular Lipid Droplet Programming in Mice and Humans. J Lipid Res. 54(2):522-534.

3. Kovalik JP, Slentz D, Stevens RD, Kraus WE, Houmard JA, Nicoll JB, Lea-Currie YR, Everingham K, Kien CL, Buehrer BM and Muoio DM (2011). Metabolic Remodeling of Human Skeletal Myocytes by Co-cultured Adipocytes Depends on the Lipolytic State of the System. Diabetes. 60(7):1882-1893.