The Symons laboratory investigates vascular function in response to pathophysiological (e.g., obesity/type 2 diabetes, ischemia, hypertension), physiological (e.g., physical exercise), and nutritional (e.g., polyphenolic compounds) interventions. Recent studies have focused on the cellular mechanisms through which ectopic fats alter vascular reactivity, concluding that ceramides are obligate intermediates linking saturated fatty acids to the impairment in blood vessel reactivity. Ongoing studies are investigating molecular mechanisms responsible for ceramide-mediated vascular dysfunction.