Xuejing Liu, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Associate
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Xuejing grew up in Anhui province, China. She got her bachelor’s degree in 2014 majoring in Basic Medicine from Chongqing Medical University, China. As a directly-enrolled (without entrance exam) PhD student, she then completed her PhD degree majoring in Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis of Fudan University Shanghai Medical College for 5 years under the guidance of Dr. Jian Wu. Her doctoral research focused on the role of branched chain fatty acid oxidation in adipose tissue thermogenesis. She joined the Lodhi Lab in the fall of 2019 with the hopes of identifying a novel strategy to exploit the thermogenic function of brown fat for treatment of obesity and the associated type 2 diabetes.
Mammals maintain energy homeostasis by keeping a balance between food intake and energy expenditure. People will become obesity or get metabolism related disease including hypertension, hyperlipidemia or NAFLD when they intake much more energy then they need. So enhancing energy expenditure could be an attractive strategy to obesity, which is rapidly increasing globally. One way to increase energy expenditure is through activation of brown adipose tissue. To maintain a relatively stable body temperature, animals have evolved several strategies of thermogenesis, including Ucp1-mediated uncoupled respiration and SERCA2b- mediated calcium cycling pathway. Peroxisome, a multifunctional organelle involved in lipid metabolism, may also play a role in thermogenesis. Unlike mitochondria, peroxisomes lack an electron transport chain. Thus, peroxisomal fatty acid oxidation generates heat instead of ATP, suggesting that peroxisomes may be involved in adaptive thermogenesis independent of Ucp1. Therefore, we determine to exploit the detail themogenesis pathway in the peroxisome to find a new treatment for obesity and the associated type 2 diabetes.