Sam Virtue is a Senior Research Associate at the Wellcome Trust-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science at the University of Cambridge. He focuses on how how when the body's fat tissue, known as adipose tissue, stops working it leads to diseases such as diabetes.
Sam has worked at the University of Cambridge for 15 years and has co-authored over 40 publications focusing on how fat functions. He has focussed on two main areas of research.
Firstly, Sam has focused on how the body's main energy stores, known as white fat, control the supply of nutrients to other organs and how disrupting this process causes diseases such as diabetes.
Secondly, Sam has focussed on the role of brown fat and how it may be used to treat metabolic disease. Brown fat burns huge quantities of nutrients to keep organisms warm. Activating it artificially in humans could be used to treat obesity by increasing energy expenditure, thus leading to weight loss. Alternatively activing brown fat could prevent diabetes by intercepting nutrients that have been inappropriate directed to organs such as liver or muscle by defective white adipose tissue.