Leading the Fight Against Fat Disorders

World renowned doctor Karen L. Herbst, one of the foremost researchers and advocates for those with ATDs, is leading the charge to create a new Program for Adipose Tissue Disorders at the University of Arizona. 

Those with ATDs Aren’t Alone Anymore.

We will be their advocates. It’s time to know more about these disorders. To seek better treatments and therapies. To organize information and make it public. To make it easier for those affected to seek accurate diagnoses and treatments. 

Finding Real Answers, Inspiring Real Hope

Philanthropic investment will fuel strategic leadership, empower interdisciplinary teams of researchers, arm experts with cutting-edge tools and technologies, and prepare the next generation of researchers and clinicians to lead the future of ATD treatments, preventions, and cures. 

Leading the Fight Against Lipedema
The problem is clear — we don’t know nearly enough about Lipedema and other Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue (SAT) Disorders.

We’re going to change that. 

Leading the Fight Against Fat Disorders

Message from the TREAT Program Director

“Lipedema has been relatively ignored for over 75 years since it was given a name by Drs. Allen and Hines in 1940 at the Mayo Clinic. It is thought that millions of women all over the world are affected with lipedema and their voices are finally being heard. Now is the time to find the cause of lipedema to guide treatment and prevention. The TREAT program will be integral to finding Treatments, performing Research, promoting Education and awareness of lipedema Adipose Tissue.”

— Dr. Karen L. Herbst

The Specific Disorders We’ll Study

The Specific Disorders We’ll Study


Excess and abnormal SAT typically tethered on the buttocks, hips, thighs, and lower legs 

Dercum’s Disease

Lumpy fibrotic subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) occurring anywhere on the body accompanied by symptoms of extreme pain, inflammation, and elevated inflammatory markers 

Familial Multiple Lipomatosis with or without Angiolipomatosis

When large lipomas develop in fat tissue large lipomas and vascular malformations deform the tissue 

Multiple Symmetric Lipomatosis

Abnormal tissue deposits that occur around the neck, upper arms, thighs, abdomen, and upper buttocks 

Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue (SAT) Disorders relationship to Obesity

Learning about ATD fat could help us better understand the fat in obesity and diabetes.

Exciting New Research is on the Horizon

A protocol for the TREAT program is under review (April 2016). Once approval is received, we will start recruiting people to participate.

Ways to Give