2019 About APS EB 2019 Information

Brown Adipose Tissue: The Fat that Makes You Thin

Symposium — Monday, April 8, 2019 — 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM — Convention Center, Room W311EF
Experimental Biology Symposium Series — Chair: Michael Symonds — Co-Chair: Helen Budge

Since the rediscovery of brown fat in adult humans in 2009 there has been an exponential increase in research into this "new human organ" with high profile papers being published each month. It is therefore one of the most exciting and vibrant areas of bio-medical research worldwide and is multi-disciplinary. This has coincided with new insights in to our understanding of the development of brown adipocytes has led to the discovery that they share a common lineage with skeletal muscle. At the same time a plethora of new proteins have been discovered in brown fat that have the potential to promote whole body heat production. The precise role of brown fat to daily heat production in adults however remains a matter of intense debate with recent high profile papers suggesting that chronic cold exposure stimulates brown fat metabolism in vivo and in vitro. The symposium will therefore focus on the latest bio-medical and related research into brown fat biology. This will include humans and the extent to which it can be a target tissue for promoting either heat production or glucose oxidation. It will also contrast this with the potential role of different anatomical locations of brown fat and compare both the development of these tissues and their response to chronic environmental challenges. Recent developments in stem cell biology and the ability to grow brown fat in vitro and/or induce its expression in vivo will also be covered. The symposium will uniquely offer an opportunity to debate the relationship between brown fat and energy balance and the extent to which they offer complementary strategies to improve metabolism, especially in overweight and obese adults. This topic always provides a vibrant and well attended symposium.


  • Recent Advances in the Quantification and Assessment of Brown Function and Distribution in Adult Humans
    Aaron Cypess — National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health

  • The Use of Stem Cells to Generate Brown Adipocytes: Role of Ambient Temperature
    Anaid Leija — Wolfson Centre for Stem Cells, The Univeristy of Nottingham

  • Transgenic Induction on Brown Fat in Large Mammals and Its Impact on Energy Balance
    Jianguo Zhao — State Key Lab of Stem Cell and Reproductive Biology, Chinese Academy of SciencesChinese Academy of Sciences

  • Chair
    Michael Symonds —

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