Adipose Metabolic Control in the Gerhart-Hines Group
Our goal is to decipher the signaling networks governing adipose tissue energy expenditure. Upon identifying potential regulatory nodes, we develop pharmacological and genetic tools to interrogate their physiological role and exploit opportunities to therapeutically unlock adipose thermogenesis.
The overarching theme of my group is to uncover how environmental cues govern adipose biology and coordinate organismal energy metabolism. Specifically, we focus on identifying which cell surface receptors, intracellular enzymes, and transporters shape adipose tissue bioenergetics. By using a combination of ‘omics platforms, cutting-edge in vivo physiological phenotyping, and pharmacological engineering, we believe we are ideally poised to make transformative breakthroughs in the understanding of basic adipose biology and developing innovative strategies for counteracting metabolic disease.
“NAMPT-mediated NAD+ biosynthesis is indispensable for adipose tissue plasticity and development of obesity”
Published in Molecular Metabolism in 2018. In this study, we show for the first time that the NAD+ biosynthetic enzyme, NAMPT, is an essential regulator of adipose expansion. Genetic depletion of NAMPT in adipose tissue completely prevents mice from gaining weight and becoming obese even on a diet rich in fat.
“Cardiolipin Synthesis Governs Systemic Energy Homeostasis through Thermogenic Fat Mitochondria”
Published in Cell Metabolism in 2018. In this study, we found that synthesis of the mitochondrial phospholipid cardiolipin is indispensable for stimulating and sustaining thermogenic fat function. Additionally, we unexpectedly discovered a novel role for cardiolipin in mediating communication from the mitochondria to the nucleus as an indicator of respiratory capacity. Finally, this was the first study to demonstrate that acute mitochondrial dysfunction in brown fat caused whole-body insulin resistance.
"A novel endocrine axis that potently induces energy expenditure and weight loss"
Our investigation of adipose energy-expending pathways led to the discovery of a new regulator of organismal homeostasis. Targeting this pathway is capable of counteracting obesity and related disorders in rodent models of metabolic disease. In 2018, we spun out Embark Biotech from the University of Copenhagen to fully explore the innovative potential of this candidate as an obesity drug.
|Finger, Fabian Michael||Postdoc||Gerhart-Hines Group, Adipose Metabolic Control|
|Frost, Mikkel||Staff scientist||Gerhart-Hines Group, Adipose Metabolic Control|
|Gerhart-Hines, Zach||Associate professor||Group Leader, Gerhart-Hines Group, Adipose Metabolic Control||+45 60 67 06 82|
|Johansen, Olivia Sveidahl||Master student||Gerhart-Hines Group, Adipose Metabolic Control||+45 353-37023|
|Karavaeva, Iuliia||PhD student||Gerhart-Hines Group, Adipose Metabolic Control||+45 353-31258|
|Kristensen, Cecilie Kynding||Laboratory assistant||Gerhart-Hines Group, Adipose Metabolic Control|
|Lund, Jens||PhD student||Gerhart-Hines Group, Adipose Metabolic Control||+45 353-26622|
|Ma, Tao||Staff scientist||Gerhart-Hines Group, Adipose Metabolic Control||+45 353-30113|
|Sass, Frederike||PhD student||Gerhart-Hines Group, Adipose Metabolic Control||+45 353-30761|
|Stohlmann, Katharina||Laboratory technician||Gerhart-Hines Group, Adipose Metabolic Control||+45 353-34722|
|Sustarsic, Elahu Gosney||Assistant professor||Gerhart-Hines Group, Adipose Metabolic Control||+45 353-37740|