Another major focus of our research is to understand the cardiac metabolic impairments that take place in obesity and type II diabetes contributing to the development of diabetic cardiomyopathy. Diabetic cardiomyopathy, which leads to heart failure, affects more than 4 in every 10 patients with type II diabetes and lacks an effective medical therapy. Although exercise prevents fibrosis and maintains cardiac function in humans and animal models of obesity and insulin resistance, the molecular mechanisms involved remain incompletely understood. We are currently dissecting the molecular regulation of cardiac autophagy and substrate selection in response to exercise in obesity, pre-diabetes and type II diabetes. These studies are geared towards the identification of novel cardiac-specific targets for therapy in obese and type II diabetic patients. Diagram summarizing findings shown at Yan et al. Sci Reports 2017.