We are interested in understanding at the molecular level key questions lying at the interface between biochemistry, cell biology, metabolic and neural physiology, including the bidirectional communication between autonomic neurons and adipocytes, the molecular basis of the phenotypic plasticity, or the lack of, in brown, beige and white adipocytes, and roles of uncharacterized enzymatic pathways in adipose thermogenesis. In the long run, we hope to address fundamentally important questions of general biological significance by using adipocyte as a model system. Our work may also lead to the development of new therapeutic targets and strategies for metabolic diseases and certain types of cancer.

Project 1: Mechanism of the neurotrophic action of adipocyte-derived S100b.

Project 2: The relevance of S100b to brain tumor.

Project 3: Mechanism of the obesogenic effect of steroid hormone.

Project 4: Role of a novel protein Clstn3β in lipid droplet biogenesis and glucose homeostasis.

Project 5: Roles of uncharacterized mitochondrial membrane protein and lipid-metabolizing enzyme in adipose thermogenesis.