Blood cells drive weight loss

Speaker: 
Alexander Knights
Affiliation: 
BABS Exit Seminar
Date: 
4 May 2018 - 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Venue: 
Rountree Room 356, Level 3, Biological Sciences Building D26
Abstract: 

The discovery that fat, which usually stores energy, can be converted into a site where energy is instead burned off as heat, was a major breakthrough in the quest for weight loss therapeutics. More recently, it has been demonstrated that blood cells living inside fat can drive this switch from energy storage to energy usage, providing a valuable new approach for tackling the crippling global obesity epidemic. This seminar will explore the contribution of a previously underappreciated type of blood cell, the eosinophil, towards driving energy expenditure. Alexander will present his findings on how eosinophils secrete beneficial factors within adipose tissue, and the implications this has for whole body metabolism. As well as speculating on how these findings may influence a paradigm shift within the field of immunometabolism, he will also address the feasibility of translation into a clinical setting.   

Speaker Biography: Alexander received a BSc (Adv) and BA from UNSW Sydney, specialising in Biochemistry and Hispanic Studies. After completing Honours in the Crossley Lab in 2013, Alexander stayed on as a postgraduate and recently submitted his PhD thesis which explored the genetic landscape in immunity and metabolism. He is now working as a postdoctoral researcher under the supervision of Merlin Crossley and Kate Quinlan.