Rodney Elwood Infante, MD, PhD
Photo: Rodney E. Infante






Elected 2024

Rodney Infante received his B.S. from the University of Florida in 1997 and then entered the M.D./Ph.D. program at UT Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW) and studied lipid metabolism under the tutelage of Nobel laureates Michael Brown and Joseph Goldstein. His graduate/post-doctoral work, which elucidated the pathway by which LDL-derived cholesterol egresses from lysosomes to the plasma membrane and ER membranes was recognized by the Ara Parseghian Fellowship, UTSW Nominata Award, the Hemphill-Gojer Award, and the American Society for Cell Biology Norton B. Gilula Award.

Subsequently, he completed internal medicine training at the Massachusetts General Hospital and gastroenterology/hepatology training at UTSW. He is board certified in internal medicine and gastroenterology. He is Associate Professor at UTSW Center for Human Nutrition with secondary appointments in the Departments of Internal Medicine and Molecular Genetics.

His laboratory focuses on elucidating basic pathways leading to the development of cancer-associated cachexia, with the goal of identifying new biomarkers and therapeutics. He also investigates the role of the same pathways in obesity and obesity-related complications. Infante has discovered: (1) the first genetic biomarker/causal gene (STK11/LKB1) that drives cancer cachexia in humans; (2) a JAK/STAT3-dependent “cytokine–adipose–hypothalamic axis” that promotes cachexia-associated anorexia and loss of adipose tissue; (3) JAK inhibitor-mediated suppression of cancer cachexia in mice, prompting a Phase 1 clinical trial of ruxolitinib treatment for cancer cachexia; and (4) activation of the cachexia inflammatory signaling axis in obesity, which limits adipocyte expansion and leads to ectopic triglyceride accumulation. 

In addition to multiple NIH, state, foundation, and pharmaceutical company grants; Infante has received the Burroughs Wellcome Career Award for Medical Scientists, the V Foundation Scholar Award, the American Gastroenterological Association Research Scholar Award, and the Kern Wildenthal President’s Research Award in Medical Science.