Impact of Alterations in Caloric Energy Balance and Body Composition on Human Diseases
Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Division Director, Director of Fellowship Program
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As part of the team at the Energy Balance Lab at Vanderbilt University, Dr. Acra has been involved in the measurement of energy metabolism using whole-room indirect calorimeters (metabolic chambers). Such a system can be coupled with movement sensors to provide a similar-to-free-living environment where a study subject or patient’s energy expenditure, substrate oxidation, physical activities are accurately measured on a minute-by-minute basis. The lab is also investigating the physiological regulations of energy metabolism, as well as improving the technologies for measuring body composition and physical activity. These investigational and modeling tools have been used to study energy metabolism in several disease states, including obesity and sickle cell anemia.
As part of the aerodigestive program, Dr. Acra is also conducting studies on dyspeptic disorders, including extra-esophgeal manifestations of gastroesophageal reflux disease, the effect of laryngomalacia on swallowing mechanics, and the role of anxiety in propagating esophageal inflammation.