Lauren M. Sparks
Dr. Lauren M. Sparks is an Investigator at the Translational Research Institute for Metabolism and Diabetes. Dr. Sparks pursues investigations on the topics of exercise response variation. Dr. Sparks is interested in understanding why some individuals do not respond favorably to exercise as a means of improving their metabolism and related co-morbidities. She aims to advance the field of exercise and type 2 diabetes and potentially shift the paradigm, allowing interventions to be targeted to those individuals most likely to benefit as well as identify novel approaches to treat those who do not. Dr. Sparks investigates the communication between muscle and fat tissue and how some individuals who are obese, but metabolically healthy, differ from those individuals who are obese and metabolically unhealthy. Prior to joining the TRI-MD, Dr. Sparks was a postdoctoral scientist at Maastricht University in the Netherlands from 2009-2012. She focused on exercise and mitochondrial function in muscle and brown adipose tissue. From 2006-2009, Dr. Sparks was a postdoctoral fellow at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with a focus on exercise and substrate metabolism in type 2 diabetes. Dr. Lauren Sparks was born in Patterson, Louisiana. She earned a B.S. in Zoology and a B.A. in Spanish in 2002 and continued on to earn her PhD in Molecular Biology in 2006 from Louisiana State University.