University of Tennessee at Knoxville, 2001
Molecular Mechanism of Obesity and its related disorders
My research interests have been focused on the molecular and cellular mechanisms of obesity and its associated metabolic disorders. I have extensive research experience in metabolic research, with specific training and expertise in key research areas such as adipocyte biology, insulin signaling, inflammatory signaling, brown/beige cell thermogenesis, lipid metabolism and atherosclerosis and creation and characterization of transgenic/knockout mouse models of the metabolic diseases. During my postdoctoral training, I investigated the relationship between the innate immunity pathways and obesity-induced inflammation and insulin resistance, focusing on toll-like receptor 4 and suppressor of cytokine signaling 3. Since establishing my independent research laboratory, I have further focused my research on the mechanisms underlying excess nutrient (e.g. lipids)-induced insulin resistance in the context of obesity. Throughout my extensive training and experience, I have established critical physiological and molecular approaches (e.g. FACS analysis, hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp, mitochondrial oxygen consumption, whole energy metabolism, ChIP assay, ChIP-seq, EMSA, RRBS, RNA-seq, ATAC-seq etc.) necessary for assessment of metabolic pathways in both cell and animal models.
In the past 5 years, I have extended my research interest to the study of epigenetic regulation of metabolic pathways including adipocyte/macrophage inflammation, adipogenesis, hepatic lipid metabolism and brown/beige cell development and thermogenesis, in the context of obesity. We demonstrated that saturated fat regulates phenotypic switch of macrophages through DNA methylation, resulting in insulin resistance and atherosclerosis. We also discovered epigenetic regulation of adipocyte chemotaxis and inflammation in obesity-induced type 2 diabetes. We recently reported important roles of histone methylation and acetylation in regulation of white fat development and brown fat thermogenesis.
Hang Shi is currently a Professor of Biology at Georgia State University. He received his Ph.D. Degree in Nutrition from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, TN. He later completed his postdoctoral training at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School. He joined the faculty of Wake Forest University Health Science as an assistant professor of Internal Medicine prior to accepting his position at the Georgia State University in 2012. Hang’s research interests have been focused on the molecular and cellular mechanisms of obesity and its related disorders. Specifically, he has a great interest in the epigenetic regulation of various metabolic pathways, including epigenetic regulation of macrophage polarization and inflammation, brown/beige adipocyte thermogenesis and hepatocyte lipid metabolism.