Richard Veech, M.D., Ph.D.

Senior Investigator

Laboratory of Metabolic Control


5625 Fishers Lane
Room 2S-28A, MSC 9409
Rockville, MD 20852


Research Topics

The Laboratory of Metabolic Control is centrally interested in the mechanisms that underwrite the maintenance of cellular energy homeostasis. Understanding these mechanisms is important because many disease states are characterized by a lowering of the phosphorylation potential (i.e., the ATP/ADPxPi ratio), which can be influenced by inorganic ion gradients across the cellular membrane. The Section's work involves the development of new techniques, which use capillary electrophoresis and mass spectrometry to quantify the products and reactants of metabolic pathways, as well as determine the energy flux through pathways of interest. The Section has used this and other techniques (e.g., "brain blowing") to provide a metabolomic survey of the effects of acetate metabolism on the brain. Importantly, this survey showed that the metabolism of acetate lowers the energy required to hydrolyze ATP. The Section's second area of specialization involves the development of therapeutic ketones. Ketones can be used to treat epilepsy and Parkinson's disease, but ketonic diets are not suitable for patients over 17. Accordingly, the Section has developed a novel ketone body called D-β-hydroxybutyrate. This compound elevates the energy required for ATP hydrolysis, it protects neurons against MPTP (a neurotoxin resulting in Parkinsonism in humans), and it partially inhibits NADH dehydrogenase by rotenone. The section is currently developing other therapeutic ketones for use by the military.

Selected Publications

  1. Veech RL, Bradshaw PC, Clarke K, Curtis W, Pawlosky R, King MT. Ketone bodies mimic the life span extending properties of caloric restriction. IUBMB Life. 2017;69(5):305-314.

  2. Veech RL. Ketone esters increase brown fat in mice and overcome insulin resistance in other tissues in the rat. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2013;1302:42-48.

  3. Nakagawa T, Ge Q, Pawlosky R, Wynn RM, Veech RL, Uyeda K. Metabolite regulation of nucleo-cytosolic trafficking of carbohydrate response element-binding protein (ChREBP): role of ketone bodies. J Biol Chem. 2013;288(39):28358-67.

  4. Srivastava S, Baxa U, Niu G, Chen X, Veech RL. A ketogenic diet increases brown adipose tissue mitochondrial proteins and UCP1 levels in mice. IUBMB Life. 2013;65(1):58-66.

  5. Pawlosky RJ, Kemper MF, Kashiwaya Y, King MT, Mattson MP, Veech RL. Effects of a dietary ketone ester on hippocampal glycolytic and tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates and amino acids in a 3xTgAD mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. J Neurochem. 2017;141(2):195-207.

Related Scientific Focus Areas

This page was last updated on September 14th, 2018