Prof Terry Maratos-Flier
Eleftheria (Terry) Maratos-Flier, MD, is professor of medicine, emerita at Harvard Medical School and is affiliated with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Since early 2018 she has been at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research where she is a Director of Translational Medicine in the Cardiovascular Metabolic Unit. She graduated from New York University as a Chemistry Major, earned her M.D. degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine and completed residency training at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, DC and Beth Israel Hospital in Boston. She joined the Joslin Diabetes Center as a Fellow in 1981 and remained there until 2004 when she moved to Beth Israel Deaconess. After a slow start in research working on viruses that cause diabetes in animal models she turned her interest to molecular mechanisms regulating appetite and energy balance. She discovered the role of the hypothalamic neuropeptide melanin concentrating hormone in regulating feeding and energy balance in mammals. She then became interested in the effects of diets on both whole animal physiology and gene expression. When comparing ketogenic diets (KD) and obesogenic diets she identified marked changes in gene expression and found that FGF21, a then largely uncharacterized peptide played a major role in mediating the effects of ketogenic diets and fatty acid oxidation in the liver. Her work in the area of “molecular” nutrition continued and she has described the long term effects of KD and the sympathetic nervous system as an activator of KD. In the area of FGF21 biology she identified the liver as a major target of both FGF21 production and FGF21 action. Her group described browning of iWAT induced by FGF21 as well as the anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic roles of FGF21 in liver when animals are subjected to dietary challenges including high sugar and high alcohol. She has also studied FGF21 physiology in humans, discovering that FGF21 is induced by the ingestion of both fructose and alcohol. Most of her research involves mouse models of obesity and type II diabetes as well as clinical studies of human obesity. Dr. Maratos-Flier has authored more than 120 scholarly articles in her field.