Oren Rom, PhD, RD
Department of Pathology and Translational Pathobiology & Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Bachelor of Science, Nutrition (2009): Faculty of Sciences and Technologies, Tel-Hai College, Israel
Registered Dietitian (2012): Ministry of Health, Israel
PhD, Medical Sciences (2015): Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology
Post-Doctoral Fellow (2016): Lipid Research Laboratory, Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology
Post-Doctoral Fellow (2021): Frankel Cardiovascular Center, University of Michigan
May 2023: In our review published in Front Cardiovasc Med, we cover common mechanisms, animal models, biomarkers and therapeutic targets linking NASH and atherosclerotic CVD.
May 2023: The Rom lab attended the 2023 AHA Vascular Discovery meeting in Boston with multiple posters and talks presented by the team.
April 2023: Our study titled "DT-109 ameliorates nonalcoholic steatohepatitis in nonhuman primates" was published in Cell Metabolism.
February 2023: Our research on the link between fatty liver disease and heart disease was covered by the Shreveport Times: https://shreveporttimes-la.newsmemory.com/?publink=0d88de17e_134aa76
February 2023: Our research on the link between fatty liver disease and heart disease was covered by 318 Forum Magazine: https://theforumnews.com/article-5091-heart-disease-and-fatty-liver-diseases.html
February 2023: Congratulations to Sumit for receiving the Second Place Poster Award at the Feist Cardiovascular Research Symposium.
January 2023: Congratulations to Alex for being awarded the AHA Postdoctoral Fellowship! We are so proud of you, Alex!
December 2022: We are excited to have Dr. Sumati Rohilla joining us as a Postdoctoral Fellow. Welcome aboard, Sumati!
November 2022: We are excited to have Dr. Sumit Kumar Anand joining us as a Postdoctoral Fellow. Welcome aboard, Sumit!
October 2022: Congratulations to Alex for receiving the First Place Poster Award at the Biomedical Research and Industry Day (BRAID).
August 2022: We are excited to have Peyton McKinney joining us as a Research Assistant. Welcome aboard, Peyton!
June 2022: The Rom lab was awarded an NIH/NIDDK R01 grant to study Lipidated Amino Acids in Cardiometabolic Diseases.
June 2022: Congratulations to Alex for being awarded the CCDS Malcolm Feist Postdoctoral Fellowship! We are so proud of you, Alex!
May 2022: Dr. Rom was named the winner of the 2022 Irvine H. Page Junior Faculty Research Award by the AHA’s ATVB Council.
April 2022: Dr. Rom received the Research Rising Star Award at the 4th Annual Research Celebration, LSUHS.
April 2022: Our study titled "Induction of glutathione biosynthesis by glycine-based treatment mitigates atherosclerosis" was published in Redox Biology.
March 2022: Congratulations to Alex for receiving a Poster Award at the 4th Annual Gulf Coast Vascular Research Consortium.
February 2022: Congratulations to Alex for receiving the First Place Poster Award at the Feist Cardiovascular Research Symposium.
December 2021: We are excited to have Dr. Alexandra Finney joining us as a Postdoctoral Fellow. Welcome aboard, Alex!
November 2021: We are excited to have Dr. Sandeep Das joining us as a Postdoctoral Fellow. Welcome aboard, Sandeep!
August 2021: Our study titled "dysregulated oxalate metabolism is a driver and therapeutic target in atherosclerosis" was published in Cell Reports.
July 2021: The Rom lab was awarded an NIH/NHLBI R00 grant to study the mechanisms of glycine-based therapy for atherosclerosis.
May 2021: The Rom Laboratory for Cardiometabolic and Liver Research is open! Positions are available immediately. See "Positions" tab for more information.
My lab focuses on elucidating metabolic and molecular mechanisms of cardiometabolic diseases to identify novel therapeutic targets. Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) remain a leading cause of death due to increasing rates of cardiometabolic risk factors including obesity, type 2 diabetes and non-alcoholic liver disease (NAFLD). Atherosclerosis, an inflammatory disease of the arteries characterized by the deposition of plaques composed of various cell types, fatty substances and other cellular waste products, is the underlying cause of most CVD. NAFLD is the most common cause of chronic liver disease and is known to accelerate atherosclerosis. Indeed, the main cause of death in patients with NAFLD is CVD. To date, there is no approved pharmacological therapy for NAFLD.
While the association between cardiometabolic diseases and lipid metabolism is well-established, recent evidence indicates that dysregulated metabolism of specific amino acids plays a role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and NAFLD. Nevertheless, the causes for dysregulated amino acid metabolism, its role as a causative factor or its therapeutic potential remain unclear. We aim to shed light on yet undefined metabolic pathways linking amino acid with lipid metabolism in cardiometabolic diseases that will lead to the development of novel treatments. To achieve this, we apply a multidisciplinary approach combining newly-generated animal models (using CRISPR/Cas9, AAV and dietary manipulation), samples from patients with CVD and NAFLD and genome‐wide association studies (GWAS) with a variety of research tools including metabolomics, transcriptomics, animal pathophysiology as well as cellular and molecular biology.
Glycine-based treatment for cardiometabolic diseases
Among all amino acids, lower circulating glycine is emerging as a common denominator in cardiometabolic diseases including coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction, type 2 diabetes, obesity and NAFLD. While we and others reported mechanisms by which glycine protects from diabetes and NAFLD, the role of glycine in atherosclerosis, the underlying cause of most CVD, is still unknown. We aim to ascertain impaired glycine metabolism in atherosclerosis and NAFLD, establish glycine-based therapy and uncover the underlying mechanisms. Based on our extensive preliminary data from clinical studies, preclinical models of atherosclerosis and NAFLD as well as in vitro studies in macrophages and hepatocytes, we hypothesize that glycine-based treatments are protective against cardiometabolic diseases by inducing glutathione-mediated antioxidant defense and modulating hepatic lipid metabolism. Our studies led to the identification of novel glycine-based treatments for cardiometabolic and liver diseases that led to high-impact publications and patent applications. Successful completion of this project will advance glycine-based therapeutics to the clinical phase through our ongoing clinical collaborations.
Glycine metabolic enzymes in cardiometabolic diseases
As a non-essential amino acid, glycine is synthesized mainly in the liver from several precursors. These reactions are catalyzed by key enzymes driving glycine formation from serine (serine hydroxylmethyltransferase, SHMT), threonine, sarcosine (sarcosine dehydrogenase, SARDH) and from alanine to glyoxylate (alanine glyoxylate aminotransferase, AGXT). Applying metabolomics and transcriptomics on human and mouse samples, we and others reported impaired glycine biosynthesis in atherosclerosis and NAFLD. Nevertheless, a causative role for glycine biosynthetic genes in cardiometabolic diseases and their therapeutic potential remain unknown. We are currently testing the hypothesis that glycine biosynthetic enzymes play a protective role in cardiometabolic and liver diseases. We utilize gain- and loss-of-function approaches combined with establish preclinical models of atherosclerosis and NAFLD to define the role of key glycine biosynthetic genes in atherosclerosis and NAFLD. We also aim to determine a genetic link between variants in glycine biosynthetic genes and cardiometabolic diseases using GWAS and follow-up functional studies.
Selected from 56 publications (33 as first author and 10 as corresponding author). Complete list of my published work at https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/?term=rom+o&sort=date
#Corresponding author; *Equal contribution
- Qu P*, Rom O*, Li K*, Jia L, Gao X, Liu Z, Ding Z, Zhao M, Wang H, Chen S, Xiong X, Zhao Y, Xue C, Zhao Y, Chu C, Wen B, Finney AC, Zheng Z, Cao W, Zhao J, Bai L, Zhao S, Sun D, Zeng R, Lin J, Liu W, Zheng L. Zhang J, Liu E, Chen YE. DT-109 Ameliorates Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis in Nonhuman Primates. Cell Metab. 2023. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2023.03.013
- Rom O#*, Liu Y*, Finney AC*, Ghrayeb A*, Zhao Y, Shukha Y, Wang L, Rajanayake KK, Das S, Rashdan NA, Weissman N, Delgadillo L, Wen B, Garcia-Barrio MT, Aviram M, Kevil CG, Yurdagul A Jr, Pattillo CB, Zhang J, Sun D, Hayek T, Gottlieb E, Mor I, Chen YE#. Induction of glutathione biosynthesis by glycine-based treatment mitigates atherosclerosis. Redox Biol. 2022 Jun;52:102313.
- Liu Y, Zhao Y, Shukha Y, Lu H, Wang L, Liu Z, Liu C, Zhao Y, Wang H, Zhao G, Liang W, Fan Y, Chang L, Yurdagul A Jr, Pattillo CB, Orr AW, Aviram M, Wen B, Garcia-Barrio MT, Zhang J, Liu W, Sun D, Hayek T, Chen YE#, Rom O#. Dysregulated oxalate metabolism is a driver and therapeutic target in atherosclerosis. Cell Rep. 2021 Jul 27;36(4):109420.
- Rom O#, Liu Y, Liu Z, Zhao Y, Wu J, Ghrayeb A, Villacorta L, Fan Y, Chang L, Wang L, Liu C, Yang D, Song J, Rech JC, Guo Y, Wang H, Zhao G, Liang W, Koike Y, Lu H, Koike T, Hayek T, Pennathur S, Xi C, Wen B, Sun D, Garcia-Barrio MT, Aviram M, Gottlieb E, Mor I, Liu W, Zhang J, Chen YE#. Glycine-based treatment ameliorates NAFLD by modulating fatty acid oxidation, glutathione synthesis, and the gut microbiome. Sci Transl Med. 2020;12(572):eaaz2841.
- Nielsen JB*, Rom O*, Surakka I*, Graham SE*, Zhou W*, Roychowdhury T, Fritsche LG, Gagliano Taliun SA, Sidore C, Liu Y, Gabrielsen ME, Skogholt AH, Wolford B, Overton W, Zhao Y, Chen J, Zhang H, Hornsby WE, Acheampong A, Grooms A, Schaefer A, Zajac GJM, Villacorta L, Zhang J, Brumpton B, Løset M, Rai V, Lundegaard PR, Olesen MS, Taylor KD, Palmer ND, Chen YD, Choi SH, Lubitz SA, Ellinor PT, Barnes KC, Daya M, Rafaels N, Weiss ST, Lasky-Su J, Tracy RP, Vasan RS, Cupples LA, Mathias RA, Yanek LR, Becker LC, Peyser PA, Bielak LF, Smith JA, Aslibekyan S, Hidalgo BA, Arnett DK, Irvin MR, Wilson JG, Musani SK, Correa A, Rich SS, Guo X, Rotter JI, Konkle BA, Johnsen JM, Ashley-Koch AE, Telen KJ, Sheehan VA, Blangero J, Curran JE, Peralta JM, Montgomery C, Sheu WHH, Chung RH, Schwander K, Nouraie SM, Gordeuk VR, Zhang Y, Kooperberg C, Reiner AP, Jackson RD, Bleecker ER, Meyers DA, Li X, Das S, Yu K, LeFaive J, Smith A, Blackwell T, Taliun D, Zollner S, Forer L, Schoenherr S, Fuchsberger C, Pandit A, Zawistowski M, Kheterpal S, Brummett CM, Natarajan P, Schlessinger D, Lee S, Kang HM, Cucca F, Holmen OL, Åsvold BO, Boehnke M, Kathiresan S, Abecasis GR. Chen YE#, Willer CJ#, Hveem K#. Loss-of-function genomic variants with impact on liver-related blood traits highlight potential therapeutic targets for cardiovascular disease. Nat Commun. 2020;11(1):6417.
- Rom O, Xu G, Guo Y, Zhu Y, Wang H, Zhang J, Fan Y, Liang W, Lu H, Liu Y, Aviram M, Liu Z, Kim S, Liu W, Wang X, Chen YE, Villacorta L. Nitro-fatty acids protect against steatosis and fibrosis during development of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in mice. EBioMedicine. 2019;41:62-72.
- Lu H, Sun J, Liang W, Chang Z, Rom O, Zhao Y, Zhao G, Xiong W, Wang H, Zhu T, Guo Y, Chang L, Garcia-Barrio MT, Zhang J, Chen YE, Fan Y. Cyclodextrin Prevents Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm via Activation of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell TFEB. Circulation. 2020;142(5):483-498.
- Rom O, Chen YE, Aviram M. Genetic variants associated with cardiovascular diseases and related risk factors highlight novel potential therapeutic approaches. Curr Opin Lipidol. 2021;32(2):148-150.
- Zhao G, Chang Z, Zhao Y, Guo Y, Lu H, Liang W, Rom O, Wang H, Sun J, Zhu T, Fan Y, Chang L, Yang B, Garcia-Barrio MT, Chen YE, Zhang J. KLF11 protects against abdominal aortic aneurysm through inhibition of endothelial cell dysfunction. JCI Insight. 2021:141673.
- Koike T, Koike Y, Yang D, Guo Y, Rom O, Song J, Xi J, Chen Y, Wang Y, Zhu T, Garcia-Barrio MT, Fan J, Chen YE, Zhang J. Human Apolipoprotein A-II Reduces Atherosclerosis in Knock-in Rabbits. Atherosclerosis. 2021;316:32-40.
- Rom O, Villacorta L, Zhang J, Chen YE, Aviram M. Emerging therapeutic potential of glycine in cardiometabolic diseases: dual benefits in lipid and glucose metabolism. Curr Opin Lipidol. 2018;29(5):428-432.
- Hirai H, Yang B, Garcia-Barrio MT, Rom O, Ma PX, Zhang J, Chen YE. Direct Reprogramming of Fibroblasts Into Smooth Muscle-Like Cells With Defined Transcription Factors. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2018;38(9):2191-2197.
- Qi X, Qu S, Xiong W, Rom O, Chang L, Jiang Z. Perivascular adipose tissue (PVAT) in atherosclerosis: a double-edged sword. Cardiovasc Diabetol. 2018;17:134.
- Xiong W, Zhao X, Villacorta L, Rom O, Garcia-Barrio MT, Guo Y, Fan Y, Zhu T, Zhang J, Zeng R, Chen YE, Jiang Z, Chang L. Brown Adipocyte-Specific PPARγ (Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor γ) Deletion Impairs Perivascular Adipose Tissue Development and Enhances Atherosclerosis in Mice. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2018;38(8):1738-1747.
- Villacorta L, Minarrieta L, Salvatore SR, Khoo NK, Rom O, Gao Z, Berman RC, Jobbagy S, Li L, Woodcock SR, Chen YE, Freeman BA, Ferreira AM, Schopfer FJ, Vitturi DA. In situ generation, metabolism and immunomodulatory signaling actions of nitro-conjugated linoleic acid in a murine model of inflammation. Redox Biol. 2018;15:522-531.
- Grajeda-Iglesias C, Rom O, Hamoud S, Volkova N, Hayek T, Abu-Saleh N, Aviram M. Leucine supplementation attenuates macrophage foam-cell formation: Studies in humans, mice, and cultured macrophages. Biofactors. 2018;44(3):245-262.
- Rom O#*, Grajeda-Iglesias C*, Najjar M, Abu-Saleh N, Volkova N, Dar DE, Hayek T, Aviram M. Atherogenicity of amino acids in the lipid-laden macrophage model system in vitro and in atherosclerotic mice: a key role for triglyceride metabolism. J Nutr Biochem. 2017;45:24-38.
- Rom O#, Korach-Rechtman H, Hayek T, Danin-Poleg Y, Bar H, Kashi Y, Aviram M. Acrolein increases macrophage atherogenicity in association with gut microbiota remodeling in atherosclerotic mice: protective role for the polyphenol-rich pomegranate juice. Arch Toxicol. 2017;91(4):1709-1725.
Oren Rom, PhD, RD
The Rom lab focuses on elucidating metabolic and molecular mechanisms of cardiometabolic diseases to identify novel therapeutic targets. In particular, we aim to shed light on yet undefined metabolic pathways linking amino acid with lipid metabolism in atherosclerosis and NAFLD that will lead to the development of novel treatments.
Alexandra Finney, PhD
My current research investigates the role of serine hydroxymethyl transferase-2 (SHMT2) in atherosclerosis. Since macrophages play a key role in atherosclerotic onset and development, I study how SHMT2 regulates plaque-associated macrophage function in vitro and in vivo. In addition, I am exploring whether SHMT2-deficient hepatocytes affect non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) in both animal and cell-culture models. An additional research interest involves developing potential pharmacological applications of lipid-amino acids conjugates to treat NASH and atherosclerosis.
Sandeep Das, PhD
The current theme of my research is to explore lipid-amino acid interactions in metabolic disorders like non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and atherosclerosis. I am studying how alterations in the physiological function of alanine glyoxylate aminotransferase (AGXT) affect lipid-amino acid metabolism, NASH, and atherosclerosis. Another area of my research interest is to develop and explore the possible pharmacological applications of lipid-amino acids conjugates to treat NASH and atherosclerosis.
Sumit Kumar Anand, PhD
My current research explores the crosstalk between lipid and amino acids in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and atherosclerosis. Specifically, I investigate alternations in the metabolism of N-acyl amino acids (NAAs) and study interventions based on NAAs, exploring their underlying mechanisms through activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARα) and suppression of inflammatory responses, with the ultimate goal of developing a novel treatment for the simultaneous treatment of NAFLD and atherosclerosis. Another area of my research in developing novel genetic and dietary mouse models with concurrent NAFLD and atherosclerosis.
Sumati Rohilla, PhD
In my research, I am looking for a novel metabolic route that can be targeted for treating NASH and the accompanying atherosclerosis at the same time. I am specifically looking into oxalate metabolism and how it contributes to NASH and atherosclerosis. Another focus of my research is to investigate the role of dysregulated polyamine metabolism as a potential biomarker and therapeutic target in NASH and atherosclerosis.
Chinedum Okafor, MD
Resident, Anatomic & Clinical Pathology
The Rom Laboratory for Cardiometabolic and Liver Research is currently recruiting a Post-doctoral Fellow to study the interrelationship between amino acid and lipid metabolism in atherosclerosis and NAFLD, and to advance the discovery of novel therapeutic approaches. In association with the LSU Center for Cardiovascular Diseases and Sciences (CCDS) and the Center for Redox Biology and Cardiovascular Disease, fellows will have access to state-of-the-art core facilities in cardiometabolic research, career development programs and intramural funding opportunities. Postdoctoral Fellows interested in conducting research in the Rom lab should review the current laboratory research directions and contact Dr. Rom at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Rom Laboratory for Cardiometabolic and Liver Research has a number of research projects available for graduate students. Those who are interested should review the current laboratory research directions and contact Dr. Rom at email@example.com
Undergraduate Research Assistants
The Rom Laboratory for Cardiometabolic and Liver Research has a number of research projects available for undergraduate students. Those who are interested should review the current laboratory research directions and contact Dr. Rom at firstname.lastname@example.org
Medical Students, Residents, and Fellows
The Rom Laboratory for Cardiometabolic and Liver Research has a number of research projects available for Medical Students, Residents, and Fellows. Those who are interested should review the current laboratory research directions and contact Dr. Rom at email@example.com
LSU Health Shreveport
Department of Pathology
Biomedical Research Institute Rm F4-27
1501 Kings Hwy
Shreveport, LA 71103
Oren Rom, PhD, RD
Office: (318) 675-5848
Lab: (318) 675-5847