BME Distinguished Lecture Series: Dr. Mary Sorci-Thomas, Medical College of Wisconsin, Pcpe2- Linking Cholesterol Metabolism, Obesity and Fibro-Inflammatory Precursors

Tuesday, May 9, 2023
1:00 pm to 1:50 pm
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Distinguished Lecture Series

Tuesday May 9, 2023


12:00pm – 12:50pm

Pcpe2- Linking Cholesterol Metabolism, Obesity and Fibro-Inflammatory Precursors


A photo of Mary Sorci-Thomas

Mary Sorci-Thomas, PhD

Professor of Medicine, Section of Endocrinology and Molecular Medicine

Associate Director Cardiovascular Center

Associate Program Director, CVC T32 Training Program

Senior Adjunct Investigator Versiti Blood Research Institute

Medical College of Wisconsin

Abstract:  The major goal of our research program is to determine the mechanism by which Pcpe2 regulates adipose tissue expansion and remodeling. Adipose expansion, in response to excess caloric intake, plays a key role in cardiometabolic health. Therefore, understanding healthy fat expansion and remodeling is of utmost significance as the prevalence of obesity in the US continues to climb, driving increased cardiovascular disease and death. Healthy adipose tissue expansion and remodeling involves the differentiation of vascular stromal precursor cells called adipocyte progenitor cells (APCs), which are in turn influenced by the other major progenitor cell, fibroinflammatory adipocyte progenitor cells (FAPs). Together these progenitor cells are found within the connective tissue surrounding mature adipocytes. Since Pcpe2 is most highly expressed in APCs and FAPs our work focuses on Pcpe2 and its role in adipocyte lipid storage and elucidating the mechanism explaining how Pcpe2 enhances TGFb-like signaling in visceral adipose. With that information we will fill a major knowledge gap in our understanding of diet-induced obesity and how it induces a fibrogenesis and inflammation during unhealthy adipose expansion.

Biography: Mary Sorci-Thomas PhD, is a Professor of Medicine with tenure in the Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Clinical Nutrition and an Associate in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) in Milwaukee, WI. She is currently Associate Director of the MCW Cardiovascular Center (CVC). Dr. Sorci-Thomas received her PhD in Biochemistry at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC. In 1985 she was awarded a National Research Service Award Fellowship from the NIH and studied Molecular Biology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. In 1987 she started her research laboratory in the Pathology Department at Wake Forest University where she rose through the ranks becoming Professor with Tenure in 2002. In December of 2014, Dr. Sorci-Thomas moved to the MCW to join the Department of Medicine and the Cardiovascular Research Center. Her research focuses on obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular health. She specifically studies the role of HDL, apoA-I on lipid metabolism and has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health for over 35 years During her time at Wake Forest she participated as a Project Leader in an NIH funded Program Project on Lipids and Atherosclerosis for over 20 years. She has written over 95 journal articles and serves as a Senior Associate Editor for the Journal of Atherosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, she also serves as a Specialty Chief Editor for Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine-Lipids in Cardiovascular Disease and as an Associate Editor for Atherosclerosis Plus. She also serves on the Editorial Boards for the Journal of Lipid Research, and Circulation Research. Dr. Sorci-Thomas is a Co-Director of a T32 Cardiovascular Science Training Grant at MCW and in addition to her involvement with mentoring students, post-docs and early career scientists she also volunteers her time and serves on numerous American Heart Association committees. Dr. Sorci-Thomas has served as Chair of the AHA Council on Atherosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, Chair of the Nominations Committee and a member of the AHA Council Operations Committee.

Please contact Kate Harrison at for a Zoom link to this event



Biomedical Engineering
Contact Person
Kate Harrison