Ashley H. Shoemaker, MD, MSCI
Virginia Commonwealth University, Medical College of Virginia Campus, VA, 2006
Pediatric Residency-Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Pediatric Endocrinology Fellowship-Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN
Genetic obesity disorders; Prader-Willi syndrome; Pseudohypoparathyroidism; Type 2 diabetes; General endocrinology; diabetes
Dr. Shoemaker's research focuses on early-onset obesity. Obesity remains a global health threat with many underlying causes including genetic susceptibility and environmental factors. The causes of obesity include genetic disorders such as melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) deficiency, pseudohypoparathyroidism (PHP, Albright's Hereditary Osteodystrophy) or Prader-Willi syndrome. These disorders result in severe, early-onset obesity, often characterized by hypothalamic dysfunction. By identifying the precise pathophysiology underlying different forms of syndromic obesity, Dr. Shoemaker is working to develop weight loss interventions that target the specific area of energy imbalance. Treatment of syndromic obesity may also influence our management of common obesity as mild hypothalamic dysfunction often accompanies common obesity. Dr. Shoemaker has found that children with the genetic disorder pseudohypoparathyroidism have reduced energy expenditure, possibly leading to early weight gain. She is continuing her work with these children, including an ongoing clinical trial and studies of glucose homeostasis. Other current studies include a registry for children with a history of early-onset obesity and clinical trials in hypothalamic obesity, Prader-Willi syndrome, disorders of the MC4R pathway and type 2 diabetes. Dr. Shoemaker also cares for children with early-onset obesity and genetic disorders in her endocrine and diabetes clinics, prediabetes clinic and a multi-disciplinary Prader-Willi syndrome clinic. Dr. Shoemaker has received funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Endocrine Fellow Foundation and the Doris Duke Foundation. She is a member of the EuroPHP Network Consensus Group on Pseudohypoparathyroidism. Her research has been published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, International Journal of Obesity, Obesity, Nature Reviews Endocrinology and Hormone Research in Pediatrics. In 2012, she was named a Vanderbilt Scholar in Diabetes. In 2016, she received the Endocrine Society Early Investigator award.