Professor Summers’ interest in diabetes originated when he was a teenager, shortly after his father was diagnosed with the disease.
He is the co-founder and scientific advisor of Centaurus Inc., a USA-based biotechnology developing new therapeutics to combat the metabolic underpinnings of metabolic disorders..
His laboratory at the University of Utah studies the relationship between the accumulation of ectopic fats during obesity or inflammation with the development of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
His group is known for determining that a derivative of fat, termed ceramide, is one of the more toxic metabolites which accumulates in mammals predisposed to metabolic disease.
Prior to joining the University of Utah, Professor Summers held faculty appointments at Duke University and its affiliated medical school in Singapore (Duke-NUS), the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Australia, and Colorado State University. While in these position he directed Metabolomics and Mouse Metabolic Phenotyping facilities and was director of the first Duke-Singapore PhD program, awarded in Integrated Biology and Medicine.
His publications have appeared in Cell Metabolism, Nature Medicine, the Journal of Clinical Investigation, etc. and he has received grant support from the USA National Institutes of Health, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, March of Dimes, the National Medical Research Council of Singapore, the Ministry of Education of Singapore, and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) of Singapore.