We are proud to present a selection of world-leading scientists within brown adipose research. Each speaker has been hand-picked to cover an important part of this fast-growing and exciting field. The meeting is open to all researchers and aim to address current burning issues, including the physiological relevance and therapeutic potential of human brown fat, brown adipokines, the transcriptional regulation and developmental origin of brown and brite/beige fat, brown fat mitochondria, glucose metabolism and bioenergetics.

Yu-Hua Tseng

Joslin Diabetes Center,

Harvard Medical School

Dr. Tseng’s laboratory has been focusing on unraveling the role of developmental signals in brown versus white adipose cell fate, the identification and characterization of adipose progenitor/stem cells, the integration of genetic and humeral factors on thermoregulation, and whole body energy homeostasis, and has made significant contributions to the understanding of brown fat biology in mice and humans.


Jan-Wilhelm Kornfeld

University of Southern Denmark (SDU), Odense, Denmark

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Jan-Wilhelm Kornfeld is Danish Diabetes Academy (DDA)-endowed Professor for Molecular Biology of Metabolic Diseases and Co-Founder of the ADIPOSIGN Center for Adipocyte Signaling at SDU. 
His group uses systems genomics approaches to understand how brown adipose tissue thermogenesis is controlled and maintained during cold stress and caloric overload. 
One particular focus of the lab lies in disentangling how long noncoding RNAs and posttranslational histone modifications govern brown adipocyte function under these conditions.

Silvia Corvera

University of Massachusetts Medical School. 

Work in the Corvera laboratory seeks to understand the role of adipose tissue in Type 2 diabetes pathogenesis. We have recently established a model to study human adipose tissue development, by recapitulating in-vitro the angiogenic expansion process required for adipose tissue growth in-vivo.  Using this approach, we have generated human adipocytes that can be engrafted in humanized mice, and find that they potently affect systemic metabolism. Our current efforts are focused on understanding the mechanisms of development of white and beige/brite human adipocytes, the mechanisms by which these cells engraft to form adipose tissue in mice, and the mechanisms by which they affect systemic metabolism.

Camilla Scheele

Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, UCPH and Centre for Physical Activity Research (CFAS), Rigshospitalet

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In my group, we investigate human adipose function in relation to adjacent organs and in relation to the immune system.  We isolate adipogenic progenitor cells from white and brown fat depots of adult humans and study secreted factors, batokines, from in vitro differentiated cells. To further determine depot specific function and transcriptional regulation, we utilize a single cell approach combined with transcriptomics using the Fluidigm platform.


Philipp E. Scherer

Touchstone Diabetes Center, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas

The Scherer laboratory defined the adipocyte as a major endocrine cell and made major contributions to the understanding of the pathophysiology of adipose tissue in the context of obesity and type 2 diabetes.  We are working specifically on adiponectin and aim to contribute towards the understanding of the physiological role of the important adipokine. We are looking at tissue crosstalk between adipose tissue, the liver, the pancreas and the kidney and study these interactions in the context of pathological changes, such as cancer, as well.


Barbara Cannon

Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute.

Stockholm University


Barbara Cannon has for many years studied the mechanism of uncoupling of brown fat mitochondria, both as a model system to understand mitochondrial energy utilization and as a means to modify energy expenditure in animals and thus to influence metabolic disorders.

Gregory Steinberg

Department of Medicine, McMaster University, Canada

Dr. Steinberg’s  research studies cellular energy sensing mechanisms and how endocrine factors, lipid metabolism and insulin sensitivity are linked and contribute to the development of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. 

Jan Nedergaard

Department of Molecular Biosciences,
The Wenner-Gren Institute, Stockholm University

Jan Nedergaard is particularly interested in the metabolic significance of UCP1 in different physiological adaptive conditions - and how to control the amount and activity of UCP1. 


Mark Febbraio

Cellular & Molecular Metabolism Laboratory
Drug Discovery Biology, 
Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences 

Monash University

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Professor Mark Febbraio is a Senior Principal Research Fellow of the NHMRC, and the Head of the Cellular and Molecular Metabolism Laboratory within the Drug Discovery Program at Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University Australia. His research is focussed on understanding cellular and molecular mechanisms associated with exercise, obesity, type 2 diabetes and cancer and his aim is to develop novel drugs to treat lifestyle related diseases. He has authored over 250 peer reviewed papers in leading journals and has over 30,000 career citations.


Christian Wolfrum

ETH Zürich, Department of Health Science and Technologies

Our research is focused on elucidating the formation on function of both brown and white adipose tissue. In the last few years we have been mainly interested in the molecular mechanisms that underly adipose tissue heterogeneity and the contribution to metabolic control..

André Carpentier

Department of Medicine
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Centre de recherche du CHUS
Université de Sherbrooke

His research interests include: 1) the role of postprandial fatty acid metabolism in the development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases; 2) the investigation of brown adipose tissue metabolism in humans; and 3) the anti-diabetic mechanisms of bariatric surgery. Dr. Carpentier has published more than 132 peer-reviewed manuscript publications cited over 10,000 times (H index 46). He is the recipient for multiple awards, including the 2011 Diabetes Young Investigator Award of the Canadian Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism, the CDA/CIHR Young Investigator Award in 2012 and the Canadian Lipoprotein Conference Physician-Scientist Award in 2014. He has been elected Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (FCAHS, 2015).


Dr. Cypess’ group in the Translational Physiology Section at the NIH focuses on human brown and white adipose tissue physiology, energy balance, and substrate utilization.  Their research platforms includes a combination of in vitro methods, bioinformatics, clinical trials, and non-invasive imaging

Aaron Cypess

Clinical Investigator, Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Obesity Branch, NIDDK, NIH

Susanne Mandrup

Center for Functional Genomics and Tissue Plasticity  &
Center for Adipocyte Signaling
Functional Genomics & Metabolism Research Unit Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Susanne Mandrup is Director of the Center of Excellence in Functional Genomics and Tissue Plasticity and the newly established Center of Adipocyte Signaling. She is founder and head the Functional Genomics and Metabolism Research Unit). Her own focuses on understanding the transcriptional networks regulating lineage determination and differentiation of adipocyte progenitors and the functioning and plasticity of cells in the adipose tissue and endocrine pancreas. The group combines genome-wide studies with detailed molecular analyses in cell culture and analyses of specific cell types in mouse models.


Mikael Ryden

Senior Consultant, Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden

Mikael Rydén is professor in clinical and experimental adipose tissue research and heads the Center for Clinical Metabolic Research in Diabetes at Karolinska Institutet. He is also senior consultant at the Endocrinology Unit Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden. His research focuses on the role of human adipose tissue in several different conditions and spans from advanced cell- and molecular biology techniques in different cell culture models to clinical studies in man

David Guertin

Program in Molecular Medicine, UMass Medical School, Worcester, MA  USA

mTOR is the catalytic core of two complexes called mTORC1 and mTORC2.  The least understood complex is mTORC2, which in adipocytes controls carbohydrate and lipid metabolism.  We recently found that mTORC2 loss in brown fat stimulates lipid catabolism, which protects against obesity and metabolic disease.  In solving the biochemical mechanism, we unexpectedly discovered that signaling by the canonical mTORC2 substrate AKT appears largely unaffected by mTORC2 loss in brown (or white) adipocytes.  I will present our data elucidating the noncanonical mechanisms by which mTORC2 regulates lipid metabolism, filling an important gap in our understanding of this more mysterious mTOR complex.


Patrick C.N. Rensen

Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands

Patrick C.N. Rensen is professor Metabolic Aspects of Vascular Disease at the Leiden University Medical Center, established investigator of the Dutch Heart Foundation, and chairman of the European Lipoprotein Club. His research focuses on BAT activation as a strategy to comBAT adiposity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Using a unique mouse model for human-like lipoprotein metabolism, he investigates novel targets that modulate BAT, via the brain, gut  and directly. He has shown that BAT activation improves lipid and glucose metabolism and attenuates atherosclerosis development. His group currently also investigates the role of the biological clock in BAT function, and attempts to discover biomarkers for BAT activity , by combining intervention studies with the large Netherlands Epidemiology of Obesity cohort. His group has just initiated BAT-targeted pharmacological intervention studies in humans 

Kirsty Spalding

Integrated Cardio Metabolic Centre, Karolinska Institute, Sweden

My research group uses recently developed strategies, such as radiocarbon dating and flow cytometry of adipocytes, to investigate basic properties in human adipose tissue, such as the turnover of adipocytes, their progenitor cells and lipid stores in lean and obese individuals as well as investigating cellular heterogeneity in human adipose tissue.


Niels Jessen is head of research at the Steno Diabetes Center Aarhus. His research focus is substrate metabolism in a translational approach. His laboratory has investigated biodistribution and mechanism of action of metformin, and demonstrated how metformin targets brown adipose tissue in rodents. Current efforts are focused on tissue plasticity and how pharmacological treatments can target progenitor cells in adipose tissue as well as skeletal and cardiac muscle

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