Yuxiang Sun, PhD
Dr. Yuxiang Sun is an associate professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science at Texas A&M University (TAMU). She received her M.D. from Beijing Medical University in China, and her Ph.D. from the University of Manitoba in Canada. She subsequently pursued postdoctoral training and started her independent career at Baylor College of Medicine. She joined the Department of Nutrition & Food Science at TAMU in December 2015.
Dr. Sun’s research interests include nutritional regulation, obesity, diabetes, immunometabolism, and “inflamm-aging”. Dr. Sun’s career has largely revolved around gut hormone ghrelin, which is a very important nutrient sensor and metabolic regulator. She generated the first set of global knockout mice for ghrelin and the ghrelin receptor, and discovered ghrelin’s novel functions in diabetes, thermogenesis, and macrophage polarization. Her laboratory has generated a series of tissue-specific ghrelin receptor knockout mice. Her team uses these state-of-the-art tools to study the sites of action and cellular/molecular mechanisms of ghrelin signaling using integrative physiology, neuroendocrinology, and biochemical and immunological approaches. The ongoing projects in her lab aim to investigate the roles of ghrelin signaling in: 1) Energy- and glucose-hemostasis; 2) Macrophage-mediated adipose tissue inflammation and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis; 3) Neuro-inflammation and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr. Sun has over 80 peer-reviewed publications with an H index of 31. These include articles in premier journals such as Cell Metabolism, PNAS, JCI, Aging Cell, Aging, Diabetes, Nature Communications, etc. The findings reported in these publications suggest that ghrelin signaling is a very promising drug target for obesity, diabetes, inflammation, and neurodegenerative diseases. Dr. Sun is a renowned expert in the ghrelin field and is a well-recognized investigator in the field of aging. Her long-term goal is to develop therapeutic strategies to prevent/treat chronic diseases, with the ultimate objectives of improving health, vitality and longevity in humans.