Shingo Kajimura

Professor, Department of Medicine

Principal Investigator, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), Associate Member at Broad Institute

The common theme in the Kajimura laboratory is multidisciplinary attempts to understand the molecular basis of bioenergetics in health and disease. The overarching goal is to generate a blueprint for rewiring the molecular circuitry of bioenergetics by defined factors, thereby improving metabolic health. One of our particular focuses has been the molecular and developmental understandings of mitochondria-rich thermogenic fat cells (brown and beige adipocytes). My lab identified the central determinants of brown/beige adipocyte biogenesis, maintenance, and function, including the processes referred to as the "browning" of white fat in which mitochondria-enriched beige adipocytes emerge within white adipose tissues. We demonstrated that the browning-associated metabolic program, involving mitochondrial biogenesis/clearance, thermogenesis, and tissue remodeling, plays vital roles in energy homeostasis at the systemic and tissue levels. Conversely, we demonstrate that a defect in the regulatory pathways causes obesity, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, and adipose tissue fibrosis. More recent works in my lab uncovered novel mitochondrial metabolite carriers for amino acids, e.g., branched-chain amino acids. Together, our research makes a fundamental impact on the field of molecular metabolism, cancer, and aging.