BBS Faculty Member - Yu-Hua Tseng

Yu-Hua Tseng

Department of Medicine

Joslin Diabetes Center
One Joslin Place
Boston, MA 02215
Tel: 617-309-1967
Fax: 617-309-2650
Visit my lab page here.

Obesity is an epidemic health problem worldwide and is a significant risk factor for many human diseases, including diabetes, dyslipidemias, non-alcoholic fatty liver, gallstones, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease and even some cancers. Obesity develops when energy intake exceed energy expenditure. Despite this simple nature, the maintenance of energy balance is complex. We are particularly intrigued by the unique nature of the energy-burning brown fat. The current research projects in our lab focus on the following specific areas: (1) Role of developmental signals in the determination of brown versus white adipose cell fate; (2) Identification and characterization of progenitor/stem cells that give rise to different adipose depots in rodents and humans; (3) Contribution and importance of fuel utilization for the energy-expending process of brown fat; and (4) Integration of central and peripheral controls on whole body energy homeostasis. Our laboratory has taken a broad-based approach to understand the mechanisms that underlie these processes, including cellular and molecular analysis, transgenic models, in vitro and in vivo imaging and ‘-omic’.profiling. Ultimately, we hope the combined knowledge from these projects will allow us to integrate central and peripheral controls of energy homeostasis and aid in identifying specific new therapeutic targets to aid in the fight against obesity, diabetes and related diseases.

Last Update: 7/23/2015


For a complete listing of publications click here.



Xue R, Lynes MD, Dreyfuss JM, Shamsi F, Schulz TJ, Zhang H, Huang TL, Townsend KL, Li Y, Takahashi H, Weiner LS, White AP, Lynes MS, Rubin LL, Goodyear LJ, Cypess AM Tseng YH. Functional and Clonal Analyses of Human Brown and White Fat Progenitors Identify Markers that Predict Thermogenic Capacity of Mature Adipocytes. Nat Med 2015; 21(7):760-768. PMCID: PMC4496292

Townsend KT,
Tseng YH. Brown fat fuel utilization and thermogenesis. Trends Endocrinol Metab 2014; 25(4):168-177. PMCID: PMC3972344

Cypess AM, White AP, Vernochet C, Schulz TJ, Xue R, Sass C, Huang TL, Roberts-Toler C, Weiner LS, Sze C, Chacko A, Deschamps LN, Herder LM, Truchan N, Glasgow AL, Holman AR, Gavrila A, Hasselgren P-O, Mori MA, Molla M,
Tseng YH. Anatomical localization, gene expression profiling, and functional characterization of human neck brown fat. Nat Med 2013; 19(5):635-9. PMCID: PMC3650129

Schulz TJ, Huang P, Huang TL, Xue R, McDougall LE, Townsend KL, Cypess AM, Mishina Y, Gussoni E,
Tseng YH. Brown fat paucity due to impaired BMP signaling induces compensatory browning of white fat. Nature 2013; 495(7441):379-83. PMCID: PMC3623555

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