Obesity is essentially a disorder of energy balance, in which intake exceeds expenditure. The profound health consequences associated with obesity emphasize the importance of developing effective therapeutic interventions. My work focuses on a recently identified form of fat cells, so-called “beige cells.” Genetic manipulations that create more of these fat cells in mice have strong anti-obesity and anti-diabetic effects.
Further understanding of beige fat biology is required to determine the role of human beige fat in energy expenditure and its value as a potential target for intervention. The isolation of beige adipocyte opened up a brand new field, we aim to elucidate 1) the molecular regulation of beige fat function, 2) the therapeutic potential of human beige fat and 3) the developmental origin of beige precursors. These ambitious aims will bring together leading laboratories to investigate the function and regulation of this new type of fat cells.
Department of Molecular & Integrative Physiology
Cellular and Molecular Biology Program
Program in Biomedical Sciences
Center for Organogenesis
Frankel Cardiovascular Center
- Ph.D. (Biological Chemistry), University of Michigan, 2007
- B.Sc. (Biology), University of Science & Technology of China, 2001
Honors and Awards
- 2016: American Diabetes Association, Junior Faculty Development Award
- 2015: Edward Mallinckrodt, Jr. Foundation, Mallinckrodt Grant
- 2015: CVC, McKay Grant
- 2014: HFSP, Young Investigator Grant
- 2012: NIH, NIDDK K01 mentored research scientist development award
- 2012: American Heart Association, Scientist Development Grant