Dr. Barberio is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences and a Special Volunteer in the Children’s Research Institute at Children’s National Medical Center. Dr. Barberio joined the Milken Institute School of Public Health as a Professorial Lecturer in the Spring of 2014 and transitioned to a tenure-track Assistant Professor position in July of 2018. Prior to joining the Milken Institute School of Public Health, Dr. Barberio earned his PhD in Kinesiology-Exercise Physiology at Auburn University in May of 2013 before moving to Washington, D.C. as Postdoctoral Fellow in the Center for Genetic Medicine Research at Children’s National. While a Postdoctoral Research Fellow he was funded on an NRSA T32 Training Fellowship (Genomics of Skeletal Muscle) and an Individual American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellowship.
Dr. Barberio’s research efforts are concentrated on understanding how molecular and epigenetic changes in adipose tissue during the development of metabolic syndrome, and associated comorbidities, result in peripheral tissue (macrophages and skeletal muscle) dysfunction. He is interested in how lifestyle interventions (nutrition, weight-loss surgery, pharmacological, and physical activity) can prevent or reverse these changes. Dr. Barberio’s laboratory utilizes a translational approach that includes combining human intervention studies with molecular and cell culture experiments.
1. Adipocyte-derived Exosomal microRNAs in the Regulation of Macrophage Cholesterol Efflux Capacity
• Refine the relationship between circulating adipocyte-derived exosomal microRNAs and reduced cholesterol efflux capacity in obese adolescents.
• Determine reductions in cholesterol efflux capacity from primary monocyte derived macrophages exposed to VAT exosomes.
• Determine reductions in cholesterol efflux gene and protein expression in primary monocyte derived macrophages exposed to VAT exosomes
2. Effect of exercise dose and intensity of on macrophage cholesterol efflux capacity
• Does a single bout of exercise alter macrophage cholesterol efflux capacity?
• Does exercise intensity have a significant effect on macrophage cholesterol efflux capacity?
• Does cholesterol efflux gene expression increase in primary monocyte derived macrophages following a single bout of exercise?
3. Cadioautonomic response to exercise in trauma survivers with post traumatic stress disorder
• Determine if trauma survivors with PTSD exhibit exaggerated cardioautonomic responses along with blunted recovery during an exercise tolerance test.
4. Optimizing Maternal Nutrition: Applying innovative trial design, molecular nutrition, and multiomic methods for maternal health
• We will conduct systematic literature reviews and identify knowledge gaps to inform the prioritization and selection of specific micronutrients to be tested in the future.
• We will plan all aspects of a Phase I trial including study design and sample size simulation, site selection, pilot studies to validate new protocols, obtaining regulatory approvals, and engaging nutrient-specific experts.
• We will conduct a Phase I dose escalation study as proof of concept the results from the Phase I trial and in discussion with BMGF.
• We will conduct one Phase II dose response trial.