The Metabolic Pathways program supports research on the pathways that are involved in intermediary metabolism as they impact endocrine and metabolic diseases such as diabetes and obesity. Supported are studies that investigate these pathways from a whole-body perspective as well as within specific tissues (., liver, fat, muscle) and at the cellular and molecular level. Studies address whole-body fluxes in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism as well as the role of single key molecules or set of molecules in the regulation of these metabolic pathways. The program promotes research that addresses the development, physiology, and life cycle of fat cells, called adipocytes, and the metabolic role of specific fat depots (., white, beige, brown) throughout the body. Another area of interest includes the mechanisms involved in protein trafficking, secretion, and processing as they relate to metabolic diseases (., vesicle formation and fusion, unfolded protein response, ER stress). This program also supports metabolic phenotyping studies that aim to identify, characterize, and validate new animal models of endocrine diseases, obesity, and diabetes and its complications.
Anabolic processes tend toward "building up" organs and tissues . These processes produce growth and differentiation of cells and increase in body size, a process that involves synthesis of complex molecules . Examples of anabolic processes include the growth and mineralization of bone and increases in muscle mass. Endocrinologists have traditionally classified hormones as anabolic or catabolic, depending on which part of metabolism they stimulate. The classic anabolic hormones are the anabolic steroids , which stimulate protein synthesis, muscle growth, and insulin .  The balance between anabolism and catabolism is also regulated by circadian rhythms , with processes such as glucose metabolism fluctuating to match an animal's normal periods of activity throughout the day.