Alderete Diabetes and Obestity Research logoRamaley N379A
Department of Integrative Physiology
University of Colorado
Boulder, CO 80309-0354
Office Phone: 303-735-6249

Research Interests

The Diabetes and Obesity Research Laboratory is interested applying a multidisciplinary approach to dissecting the contributions of diet, environmental exposures, and the gut microbiome to human health, with a particular focus on obesity, type 2 diabetes, and health disparities.


  • Director: Dr. Tanya L. Alderete
  • Post-Doctoral Fellow: TBD
  • Project Research Assistant: Sarah Haydu
  • Graduate Students: William Patterson
  • Undergraduate Students: Maximilian Bailey, Laura Wild, Savannah Mierau, Noopur Naik
  • Collaborators: Frank Gilliland M.D., Ph.D., Michael Goran, Ph.D., Carrie Breton, Sc.D., and Talat Islam, M.D., Ph.D., University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine; Claudia Toledo-Corral, MPH, Ph.D., California State University Northridge, Rob Knight, Ph.D., University of California San Diego; Anthony Fodor, Ph.D.; University of North Carolina at Charlotte; and Douglas Walker, Ph.D., Mount Sinai

Current Research Projects

  • Exposure to air pollutants, obesity, insulin resistance, and the gut microbiome
  • Persistent organic pollutants and risk factors for type 2 diabetes in youth
  • Environmental exposures, breastmilk, and infant growth trajectories

Find out how you can participate in a study in the ADOR Laboratory.

Opportunities for Undergraduates

  • We are looking for enthusiastic, motivated undergraduate students who are interested in obtaining research experience.
  • Candidates must have an interest in obesity, type 2 diabetes, health disparities, and environmental health.
  • Enroll in Independent Study (i.e., IPHY 4860) for 8-10 hours/week for at least one semester (undergraduates).
  • Either have completed or be currently enrolled in Introductory Statistics (IPHY 2800).
  • For more information, please contact

Opportunities for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Fellows

  • Graduate student and postdoctoral fellow training is available contingent upon research funding.
  • For more information, please contact

Recent Publications

For a complete list of publications click here.

  • Chen Z, Herting MM, Chatzi L, Belcher BR, Alderete TL, McConnell RS, Gilliland FD. Regional and traffic-related air pollutants are associated with higher consumption of fast food and trans fat among adolescents. Am J Clin Nutr 2018; in press.
  • Alderete TL, Chen Z, Lurmann F, Rappaport E, Habre R, Berhane K, Gilliland FD. Longitudinal Associations of In Utero and Early Life Near-Roadway Air Pollution with Trajectories of Childhood Body Mass Index. Environmental Health 17: 64, 2018.
  • Alderete TL, Chen Z, Toledo-Corral CM, Contreras ZA, Kim JS, Habre R, Chatzi L, Bastain T, Breton CV, Gilliland FD. Ambient and Traffic-Related Air Pollution Exposures as Novel Risk Factors for Metabolic Dysfunction and Type 2 Diabetes. Current Epidemiological Reports,, 2018.
  • Alderete TL, Jones RB, Chen Z, Kim JS, Habre R, Lurmann F, Gilliland FD, Goran MI. Exposure to traffic-related air pollution and the composition of the gut microbiota in overweight and obese adolescents. Environmental Research 161:472-478, 2018.
  • Alderete TL, Song A, Bastin T, Habre R, Toledo-Corral CM, Salam MT, Lurmann F, Gilliland FD, Breton CV. Prenatal Traffic-Related Air Pollution Exposures, cord blood adipokines and infant weight. Ped. Obesity, doi:10.1111/ijpo.12248 [Epub ahead of print], 2018.
  • Goran MD, Riemer SL, Alderete TL. Simplified and age-appropriate recommendation for added sugars in children. Pediatric Obesity 13: 269-272, 2018.
  • Jones RB, Alderete TL, Martin AA, Geary BA, Hwang DH, Palmer SL, Goran MI. Probiotic supplementation increases obesity with no detectable effects on liver fat or gut microbiota in obese Hispanic adolescents: a 16-week, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Pediatric Obesity, doi: 10.1111/ijpo/12273. [Epub ahead of print], 2018.Kim JS,
  • Toledo-Corral CM, Alderete TL, Habre R, Berhane K, Lurmann FW, Weigensberg MJ, Goran MI, and Gilliland FD. Effects of air pollution exposure on glucose metabolism in Los Angeles minority youth. Pediatric Obesity 13: 54-62, 2018.
  • Alderete TL, Habre R, Toledo-Corral CM, Berhane K, Zhanghua C, Lurmann FW, Weigensberg MJ, Goran MI, and Gilliland FD. Longitudinal Associations Between Ambient Air Pollution With Insulin Sensitivity, B-Cell Function, and Adiposity in Los Angeles Latino Children. Diabetes 66: 1789-1796, 2017.
  • Chen Z, Salam MT, Alderete TL, Habre R, Bastain T, Berhane K, and Gilliland FD. Effects of Childhood Asthma on the Development of Obesity among School-aged Children. American Journal of Respiratory Critical Care Medicine 195: 1181-1188, 2017.
  • Goran MI, Martin A, Alderete TL, Fujiwara H, Fields D. Fructose in breast milk is positively associated with infant body composition at 6 months of age. Nutrients 16(9);2:pii.E146, 2017.
  • Alderete TL, Autran C, Brekke BE, Knight R, Bode L, Goran MI, Fields A. Associations between human milk oligosaccharides and infant body composition in the first six months of life. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 102: 1381-82, 2016.
  • Gyllenhammer LE, Alderete TL, Toledo-Corral CM, Weigensberg MJ, Goran MI. Saturation of subcutaneous adipose tissue expansion and accumulation of ectopic fat associated with metabolic dysfunction during late and post-pubertal growth. International Journal of Obesity (London), 40: 601-6, 2016.
  • Gyllenhammer LE, Lam J, Alderete TL, Allayee H, Akbari O, Katkhouda N, Goran MI. Lower Omental T-reg Cell Count is Associated with Higher Fasting Glucose and Lower Beta-cell Function in Adults with Obesity. Obesity (Silver Spring) 24: 1274-82, 2016.


  • 2017 – 2021 NIH/NIEHS K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award (PI: Alderete)
  • 2018 – 2019 USC Environmental Health Pilot Grant; Near-Roadway and Ambient Air Pollution Exposure and the Gut Microbiome: Implications for Obesity and Insulin Resistance in Adolescence (Co-PIs: Alderete and Toledo-Corral)
  • 2018 – 2019 USC Environmental Health Pilot Grant; Indoor Particulate Matter and the Nasal and Gut Microbiota: Implications for Acute Lower Respiratory Tract Infection in Infants from Rural Bangladesh (Co-PIs: Alderete and Islam)