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Welcome to Czech Lab at UMass Chan Medical School

We apply new methods of gene silencing, editing & deletion to gain a better understanding about insulin signaling and energy expenditure pathways.

We share a common passion to translate our basic discoveries into therapeutic strategies for type 2 diabetes and obesity.

We collaborate with other scientists and companies to drive progress.

We welcome new lab members from diverse scientific backgrounds to join us!

Major human diseases such as type 2 diabetes and atherosclerosis are promoted by dysfunctions in adipose tissue and in the interactions between adipocytes, endothelial cells, nerve fibers and immune cells. Adipose tissue remodeling in obesity can also secondarily disrupt liver and skeletal muscle metabolism, causing systemic insulin resistance and glucose intolerance. Likewise, excess liver fat and muscle dysfunctions in obesity disrupt overall metabolic balance and communication. Our laboratory group is attacking key questions related to these cellular and molecular interactions among metabolic tissues, macrophages, neuronal signals and the vasculature that define both normal and metabolic disease states.

Our Central Interest  

Genes and their protein products that control metabolic health and are potential therapeutic targets for obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Central Questions

  • Can we identify molecular mechanisms that disrupt insulin signaling in obesity and type 2 diabetes to develop therapeutic strategies for these diseases?
  • Can we genetically modify adipocytes ex vivo with CRISPR technology to create cellular therapeutics for type 2 diabetes and its complications?
  • Can we identify and modulate molecular mechanisms that switch adipocytes from storing triglyceride to cells that oxidize fat, expend energy, and secrete beneficial factors?
  • Can we target genes that promote fatty liver and inflammation in obesity and diabetes with therapeutic siRNA to alleviate nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)?

PhD Student Najihah Aziz Wins Three Minute Thesis Competition

 Najihah Aziz Three Minute Thesis Winner

Her 180 second talk explained how brown fat could potentially be used to treat type 2 diabetes. She won an all-expense-paid trip to a conference of her choice & she'll represent UMass Chan in a regional competition. 


Emmanouela Tsagkaraki, MD, PhD Awarded Keystone Symposia Scholarship

 Emmanouela Tsagkaraki receives Keystone Symposia Scholarship

Dr. Tsagkaraki presented at the conference in Banff, Canada about Engineering the Genome. Award through: National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. Grant #1R13TR003025-01


Leslie Rowland, PhD Presents at Keystone Symposia


Dr. Rowland gave a lecture and presented a poster at the 2023 Keystone Symposia in Banff, Canada about the role of autophagy in adipocyte biology and metabolism.


Adilson Guilherme, PhD Promoted to Associate Professor

 Adilson Guilherme Type 2 Diabetes Adipose Research

Dr. Guilherme is investigating beige fat as a therapeutic potential for people struggling with obesity, diabetes or cardiovascular disease. 


Batuhan Yenilmez, PhD Promoted to Assistant Professor

 Batuhan Yenilmez.jpg

Dr. Yenilmez is working on developing RNAi based therapeutic strategies for metabolic-dysfunction associated steatohepatitis (MASH), chronic kidney disease and pulmonary fibrosis.


Czech & Corvera Labs Awarded $2.5M Department of Defense Grant to Advance a Potential Type 2 Diabetes Therapy

 Czech and Corvera Grant

They continue to re-engineer “bad fat” into “good fat,” advancing their therapeutic model into pre-clinical studies, with a goal of human clinical trials in the future.