BioNut researcher receives EFSD / Novo Nordisk Future Leaders Award
Assistant Professor Rongrong Fan at the Department of Biosciences and Nutrition is among the 4 grantees in Europe who have received 5 million DKK for 5 years from the EFSD / Novo Nordisk Future Leaders Award program in 2021. This highly competitive grant supports young and promising researchers of excellence who wish to further develop their career in Europe to investigate the mechanisms of diabetes.
From epigenetics to functional epigenetics: investigating enhancers and silencers in human metabolic tissues
Rongrong Fan, Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, received the grant for the project: "From epigenetics to functional epigenetics: investigating enhancers and silencers in human metabolic tissues"
Type 2 diabetes is accounting for 90% of all diabetic cases and is becoming global pandemic.
Rongrong Fan’s research focuses on the transcriptional regulation of metabolism and inflammation in the major metabolic organs (such as adipose tissue, liver) and immune cells. The latest finding by the team revealed dual roles of non-coding genomic regions and their interplay with local transcription factors and cofactors in controlling gene expression1. Disturbance of such process, i.e. by mutations in the genome, leads to the metabolic dysregulations and is linked with obesity-induced insulin resistance1-3.
"By developing novel functional screening techniques, we are now able to systemically study the molecular features and regulatory mechanisms of those regions in human metabolic tissues genome-widely", says Rongrong Fan.
"We hope to substantially increase our knowledge in the functional genomic basis of the disease. Such information is critical for developing personalized therapeutic strategies which will ultimately benefit the patients".
1. Huang, Z., et al. The corepressors GPS2 and SMRT control enhancer and silencer remodeling via eRNA transcription during inflammatory activation of macrophages. Molecular Cell 2021. 81(5):953-968.
2. Liang, N., et al. Hepatocyte-specific loss of GPS2 in mice reduces non-alcoholic steatohepatitis via activation of PPARα. Nature Communications 2019. 10:1684.
3. Fan, R.R., et al. Loss of the corepressor GPS2 sensitizes macrophage activation upon metabolic stress induced by obesity and type 2 diabetes. Nature Medicine 2016. 22(7):780-91.