Sander Kersten, Ph.D. is the director of the Division of Nutritional Sciences and the Schleifer Family Professor at Cornell University. Dr. Kersten received his MSc degree in Human Nutrition from Wageningen University in 1993, and his Ph.D. degree in Nutritional Biochemistry from Cornell University in 1997. After a postdoctoral stay in the laboratory of Dr. Walter Wahli at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, he moved back to Wageningen University in 2000 with a career development grant from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was appointed to Associate Professor in 2006 and Full Professor in 2011. In 2014 he became Chair of the Nutrition, Metabolism and Genomics group and in 2019 Chairman of the Division of Human Nutrition and Health at Wageningen University. He joined Cornell in January 2024.

Research in his group aims to elucidate the molecular mechanism that underlies the regulation of lipid metabolism in the liver and adipose tissue during fasting and feeding. In the past, his group demonstrated the importance of the transcription factor PPARα in the metabolic response to fasting in the liver. Using various human liver model systems in combination with transcriptomics, his work also revealed the importance of PPARα in gene regulation and nutrient metabolism in the human liver. In addition, his team elucidated the mechanism responsible for the regulation of fat uptake into adipose tissue during fasting. Specifically, his group discovered the protein ANGPTL4 and elucidated its role as a crucial regulator of lipid uptake into adipose tissue by interfering with the function of lipoprotein lipase. His current research is concentrated on identifying the role of several novel fasting-regulated genes in lipid metabolism in adipose tissue and the liver.


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