Michigan Postdoctoral Pioneer Program, 2021

Collaborative PIs


Durga Singer M.A., M.D.

Assistant Professor
Edith Briskin/SKS Foundation Taubman Emerging Scholar
Physician Advisor in Faculty Development
Lead for Gender DE&I activities in the Department of Pediatrics
Associate Director for the Graduate Program in Immunology

Co - Mentor

Ormond MacDougald, Ph.D.

John A. Faulkner Collegiate Professor of Molecular & Integrative Physiology
Professor, Internal Medicine

Co - Mentor

Darleen Sandoval, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Surgery
Assistant Professor, Nutritional Sciences



Bariatric Surgery Effects on Myelopoiesis, Marrow Adipose Tissue and Bone Health

Obesity and associated type 2 diabetes mellitus are worldwide public health problems. Although the first line of obesity treatment involves a multidisciplinary approach, outcomes in terms of weight loss and improved metabolism are generally modest. Thus, weight loss surgery is now an integral part of clinical management of severely obese patients. Vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) is the most common surgical approach (>50%). An extensive clinical literature details the positive effects of bariatric/metabolic surgery on type 2 diabetes and other metabolic disorders, which are in part independent of weight loss. Unfortunately, there are also several detrimental effects associated with these procedures, including bone loss and increased fracture risk. Potential causes of bone loss in humans have been explored however, definitive mechanisms leading to therapeutic targets have not been found. Nor has there been an in-depth mechanistic evaluation of effects of VSG on the cells that directly interact with bone cells, the bone marrow adipose tissue (BMAT) and hematopoietic cells. This project between the MacDougald, Sandoval and Singer labs tests the hypothesis that VSG decreases bone mass and marrow adiposity through expansion of hematopoietic cellularity, particularly the myeloid lineage. Through this project candidates will have the opportunity to engage in novel translational research areas in the field of meta-inflammation.