Elizabeth Joanna Tarling

Associate Professor-in-Residence, Medicine, University of California Los Angeles

Lipids (particularly cholesterol and phospholipids) are essential components of cell membranes and are precursors to many signaling molecules, including steroid hormones, bile acids, second messengers, and oxysterols. As such, lipid synthesis pathways are among the most intensely regulated processes in biology. We are interested in understanding molecular mechanisms that control cellular, tissue and whole-body lipid homeostasis in healthy and disease states.


Cardiovascular Disease, Cholesterol, ABC Transporters, Fatty Liver, Pulmonary Alveolar Proteinosis, Macrophages, Pulmonary Fibrosis

Education and Training

University of NottinghamPhD10/2006Biochemistry and Nutritional Sciences
University of NottinghamBSc07/2002Biochemistry and Biological Chemistry

Awards and Honors

  • Irvine H. Page Young Investigator Research Award, ATVB Council of the American Heart Association, 2018.
  • David L. Williams Lectureship & Award for Outstanding Research in the field of Lipids & Lipoproteins, Kern Lipid Conference, 2017.
  • George J. Popjàk Award for Outstanding Contributions in the field of Atherosclerosis Research, UCLA, 2011.
  • MBIDP First-Year Curriculum Instructor Award, UCLA MBIDP, 2022.


  1. Lee E, Williams KJ, McCarthy C, Bridges JP, Redente EF, de Aguiar Vallim TQ, Barrington RA, Wang T, Tarling EJ. Alveolar macrophage lipid burden correlates with clinical improvement in patients with pulmonary alveolar proteinosis.. Journal of lipid research, 2024.
  2. O'Callaghan M, Duignan J, Tarling EJ, Waters DK, McStay M, O'Carroll O, Bridges JP, Redente EF, Franciosi AN, McGrath EE, Butler MW, Dodd JD, Fabre A, Murphy DJ, Keane MP, McCarthy C. Analysis of tissue lipidomics and computed tomography pulmonary fat attenuation volume (CTPFAV ) in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.. Respirology (Carlton, Vic.), 2023.
  3. Clifford BL, Jarrett KE, Cheng J, Cheng A, Seldin M, Morand P, Lee R, Chen M, Baldan A, de Aguiar Vallim TQ, Tarling EJ. RNF130 Regulates LDLR Availability and Plasma LDL Cholesterol Levels.. Circulation research, 2023.
  4. O'Callaghan M, Helly F, Tarling E, Keane MP, McCarthy C. Methionine supplementation: potential for improving alveolar macrophage function through reverse cholesterol transport?. The European respiratory journal, 2022.
  5. Yildirim Z, Baboo S, Hamid SM, Dogan AE, Tufanli O, Robichaud S, Emerton C, Diedrich JK, Vatandaslar H, Nikolos F, Gu Y, Iwawaki T, Tarling E, Ouimet M, Nelson DL, Yates JR, Walter P, Erbay E. Intercepting IRE1 kinase-FMRP signaling prevents atherosclerosis progression.. EMBO molecular medicine, 2022.
  6. Ataya A, Knight V, Carey BC, Lee E, Tarling EJ, Wang T. The Role of GM-CSF Autoantibodies in Infection and Autoimmune Pulmonary Alveolar Proteinosis: A Concise Review.. Frontiers in immunology, 2021.
  7. Clifford BL, Sedgeman LR, Williams KJ, Morand P, Cheng A, Jarrett KE, Chan AP, Brearley-Sholto MC, Wahlström A, Ashby JW, Barshop W, Wohlschlegel J, Calkin AC, Liu Y, Thorell A, Meikle PJ, Drew BG, Mack JJ, Marschall HU, Tarling EJ, Edwards PA, de Aguiar Vallim TQ. FXR activation protects against NAFLD via bile-acid-dependent reductions in lipid absorption.. Cell metabolism, 2021.
  8. de Aguiar Vallim TQ, Tarling EJ. mInd the gAP: Intestinal Alkaline Phosphatase Puts the Breaks on Atherosclerosis.. Circulation research, 2021.
  9. Zhuang A, Calkin AC, Lau S, Kiriazis H, Donner DG, Liu Y, Bond ST, Moody SC, Gould EAM, Colgan TD, Carmona SR, Inouye M, de Aguiar Vallim TQ, Tarling EJ, Quaife-Ryan GA, Hudson JE, Porrello ER, Gregorevic P, Gao XM, Du XJ, McMullen JR, Drew BG. Loss of the long non-coding RNA OIP5-AS1 exacerbates heart failure in a sex-specific manner.. iScience, 2021.
  10. Bond ST, King EJ, Henstridge DC, Tran A, Moody SC, Yang C, Liu Y, Mellett NA, Nath AP, Inouye M, Tarling EJ, de Aguiar Vallim TQ, Meikle PJ, Calkin AC, Drew BG. Deletion of Trim28 in committed adipocytes promotes obesity but preserves glucose tolerance.. Nature communications, 2021.
  11. Zhou QD, Chi X, Lee MS, Hsieh WY, Mkrtchyan JJ, Feng AC, He C, York AG, Bui VL, Kronenberger EB, Ferrari A, Xiao X, Daly AE, Tarling EJ, Damoiseaux R, Scumpia PO, Smale ST, Williams KJ, Tontonoz P, Bensinger SJ. Interferon-mediated reprogramming of membrane cholesterol to evade bacterial toxins.. Nature immunology, 2020.
  12. Cheng J, Cheng A, Clifford BL, Wu X, Hedin U, Maegdefessel L, Pamir N, Sallam T, Tarling EJ, de Aguiar Vallim TQ. MicroRNA-144 Silencing Protects Against Atherosclerosis in Male, but Not Female Mice.. Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology, 2019.
  13. Parker BL, Calkin AC, Seldin MM, Keating MF, Tarling EJ, Yang P, Moody SC, Liu Y, Zerenturk EJ, Needham EJ, Miller ML, Clifford BL, Morand P, Watt MJ, Meex RCR, Peng KY, Lee R, Jayawardana K, Pan C, Mellett NA, Weir JM, Lazarus R, Lusis AJ, Meikle PJ, James DE, de Aguiar Vallim TQ, Drew BG. An integrative systems genetic analysis of mammalian lipid metabolism.. Nature, 2019.
  14. McCarthy C, Lee E, Bridges JP, Sallese A, Suzuki T, Woods JC, Bartholmai BJ, Wang T, Chalk C, Carey BC, Arumugam P, Shima K, Tarling EJ, Trapnell BC. Statin as a novel pharmacotherapy of pulmonary alveolar proteinosis.. Nature communications, 2018.
  15. Tumurkhuu G, Dagvadorj J, Porritt RA, Crother TR, Shimada K, Tarling EJ, Erbay E, Arditi M, Chen S. Chlamydia pneumoniae Hijacks a Host Autoregulatory IL-1β Loop to Drive Foam Cell Formation and Accelerate Atherosclerosis.. Cell metabolism, 2018.
  16. Mack JJ, Mosqueiro TS, Archer BJ, Jones WM, Sunshine H, Faas GC, Briot A, Aragón RL, Su T, Romay MC, McDonald AI, Kuo CH, Lizama CO, Lane TF, Zovein AC, Fang Y, Tarling EJ, de Aguiar Vallim TQ, Navab M, Fogelman AM, Bouchard LS, Iruela-Arispe ML. NOTCH1 is a mechanosensor in adult arteries.. Nature communications, 2017.
  17. Tarling EJ, Clifford BL, Cheng J, Morand P, Cheng A, Lester E, Sallam T, Turner M, de Aguiar Vallim TQ. RNA-binding protein ZFP36L1 maintains posttranscriptional regulation of bile acid metabolism.. The Journal of clinical investigation, 2017.
  18. de Aguiar Vallim TQ, Lee E, Merriott DJ, Goulbourne CN, Cheng J, Cheng A, Gonen A, Allen RM, Palladino END, Ford DA, Wang T, Baldán Á, Tarling EJ. ABCG1 regulates pulmonary surfactant metabolism in mice and men.. Journal of lipid research, 2017.
  19. Tarling EJ, Edwards PA. Intracellular Localization of Endogenous Mouse ABCG1 Is Mimicked by Both ABCG1-L550 and ABCG1-P550-Brief Report.. Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology, 2016.
  20. Tarling EJ, Ryan KJP, Austin R, Kugler SJ, Salter AM, Langley-Evans SC. Maternal high-fat feeding in pregnancy programs atherosclerotic lesion size in the ApoE*3 Leiden mouse.. Journal of developmental origins of health and disease, 2016.
  21. York AG, Williams KJ, Argus JP, Zhou QD, Brar G, Vergnes L, Gray EE, Zhen A, Wu NC, Yamada DH, Cunningham CR, Tarling EJ, Wilks MQ, Casero D, Gray DH, Yu AK, Wang ES, Brooks DG, Sun R, Kitchen SG, Wu TT, Reue K, Stetson DB, Bensinger SJ. Limiting Cholesterol Biosynthetic Flux Spontaneously Engages Type I IFN Signaling.. Cell, 2015.
  22. Wei H, Tarling EJ, McMillen TS, Tang C, LeBoeuf RC. ABCG1 regulates mouse adipose tissue macrophage cholesterol levels and ratio of M1 to M2 cells in obesity and caloric restriction.. Journal of lipid research, 2015.
  23. Ito A, Hong C, Rong X, Zhu X, Tarling EJ, Hedde PN, Gratton E, Parks J, Tontonoz P. LXRs link metabolism to inflammation through Abca1-dependent regulation of membrane composition and TLR signaling.. eLife, 2015.
  24. de Aguiar Vallim TQ, Tarling EJ, Ahn H, Hagey LR, Romanoski CE, Lee RG, Graham MJ, Motohashi H, Yamamoto M, Edwards PA. MAFG is a transcriptional repressor of bile acid synthesis and metabolism.. Cell metabolism, 2015.
  25. Tarling EJ, Ahn H, de Aguiar Vallim TQ. The nuclear receptor FXR uncouples the actions of miR-33 from SREBP-2.. Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology, 2015.
  26. Baldan A, Gonen A, Choung C, Que X, Marquart TJ, Hernandez I, Bjorkhem I, Ford DA, Witztum JL, Tarling EJ. ABCG1 is required for pulmonary B-1 B cell and natural antibody homeostasis.. Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950), 2014.
  27. Rong X, Albert CJ, Hong C, Duerr MA, Chamberlain BT, Tarling EJ, Ito A, Gao J, Wang B, Edwards PA, Jung ME, Ford DA, Tontonoz P. LXRs regulate ER stress and inflammation through dynamic modulation of membrane phospholipid composition.. Cell metabolism, 2013.
  28. Martin LJ, Lau E, Singh H, Vergnes L, Tarling EJ, Mehrabian M, Mungrue I, Xiao S, Shih D, Castellani L, Ping P, Reue K, Stefani E, Drake TA, Bostrom K, Lusis AJ. Response to Pomozi et al's research commentary.. Circulation research, 2013.
  29. de Aguiar Vallim TQ, Tarling EJ, Edwards PA. Pleiotropic roles of bile acids in metabolism.. Cell metabolism, 2013.
  30. Tarling EJ. Expanding roles of ABCG1 and sterol transport.. Current opinion in lipidology, 2013.
  31. de Aguiar Vallim TQ, Tarling EJ, Kim T, Civelek M, Baldán Á, Esau C, Edwards PA. MicroRNA-144 regulates hepatic ATP binding cassette transporter A1 and plasma high-density lipoprotein after activation of the nuclear receptor farnesoid X receptor.. Circulation research, 2013.
  32. Tarling EJ, de Aguiar Vallim TQ, Edwards PA. Role of ABC transporters in lipid transport and human disease.. Trends in endocrinology and metabolism: TEM, 2013.
  33. Martin LJ, Lau E, Singh H, Vergnes L, Tarling EJ, Mehrabian M, Mungrue I, Xiao S, Shih D, Castellani L, Ping P, Reue K, Stefani E, Drake TA, Bostrom K, Lusis AJ. ABCC6 localizes to the mitochondria-associated membrane.. Circulation research, 2012.
  34. Tarling EJ, Edwards PA. ATP binding cassette transporter G1 (ABCG1) is an intracellular sterol transporter.. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2011.
  35. Tarling EJ, Edwards PA. Dancing with the sterols: critical roles for ABCG1, ABCA1, miRNAs, and nuclear and cell surface receptors in controlling cellular sterol homeostasis.. Biochimica et biophysica acta, 2011.
  36. Jiang YJ, Lu B, Tarling EJ, Kim P, Man MQ, Crumrine D, Edwards PA, Elias PM, Feingold KR. Regulation of ABCG1 expression in human keratinocytes and murine epidermis.. Journal of lipid research, 2010.
  37. Tarling EJ, Bojanic DD, Tangirala RK, Wang X, Lovgren-Sandblom A, Lusis AJ, Bjorkhem I, Edwards PA. Impaired development of atherosclerosis in Abcg1-/- Apoe-/- mice: identification of specific oxysterols that both accumulate in Abcg1-/- Apoe-/- tissues and induce apoptosis.. Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology, 2010.
  38. Tarr PT, Tarling EJ, Bojanic DD, Edwards PA, Baldán A. Emerging new paradigms for ABCG transporters.. Biochimica et biophysica acta, 2009.
  39. Tarling EJ, Ryan KJ, Bennett AJ, Salter AM. Effect of dietary conjugated linoleic acid isomers on lipid metabolism in hamsters fed high-carbohydrate and high-fat diets.. The British journal of nutrition, 2008.
  40. Yates Z, Tarling EJ, Langley-Evans SC, Salter AM. Maternal undernutrition programmes atherosclerosis in the ApoE*3-Leiden mouse.. The British journal of nutrition, 2008.
  41. Salter AM, Tarling EJ. Regulation of gene transcription by fatty acids.. Animal : an international journal of animal bioscience, 2007.
  42. O'Sullivan SE, Tarling EJ, Bennett AJ, Kendall DA, Randall MD. Novel time-dependent vascular actions of Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol mediated by peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma.. Biochemical and biophysical research communications, 2005.
  43. Tarling E, Salter A, Bennett A. Transcriptional regulation of human SREBP-1c (sterol-regulatory-element-binding protein-1c): a key regulator of lipogenesis.. Biochemical Society transactions, 2004.