Yong-Xu Wang, PhD


Yong-Xu Wang received his B.S. in 1989 from Peking University, China, and his Ph.D. in 1999 from the University of Iowa.  He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute from 1999 to 2004.  He joined the Program in Gene Function and Expression at the University of Massachusetts Medical School as an Assistant Professor in February 2005.

Our Research

The goal of our research is brown fat development and browning of white fat.


Brown fat and white fat have opposite function-energy expenditure and energy storage, respectively.  In addition, white fat displays considerable plasticity of switching to brown-like adipocytes under proper stimuli.  Both brown and brown-like adipocytes are present in adult humans and have become a potential drug discovery target for obesity and associated metabolic diseases.  We are interested in cellular and molecular mechanisms controlling brown fat fate determination and maintenance and whether these mechanisms can be explored to convert white adipocytes to brown-like adipocytes. We particularly focus on transcriptional control, epigenetics, non-coding RNAs, and signaling molecules. 

We employ an array of tools such as knockout and transgenic mice, deep sequencing, and CRISPR-mediated genome editing in our study.

Rotation projects and postdoctoral positions are available.  Contact information is available here.