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Prof Robin Klemm will be joining our department in June 2020 as the Associate Professor of Physiological Metabolism. Research in the Klemm lab focuses primarily on understanding the molecular cell biology of professional fat storing cells called white adipocytes.

Prof Robin Klemm from the Institute of Molecular Life Sciences, University of Zurich in Switzerland will be starting his research group here at DPAG in June 2020. Central questions in the group are focused on how specialised fat storing organelles called lipid droplets are produced in adipocytes, and how lipid droplets functionally associate with other organelles in the cell after intake of a meal and during fasting.

The lab further aims to understand how the enzymes of metabolic pathways are spatially organised in fat cells, and how genetic programmes that direct fat cell function depend on metabolic changes during fat cell development.

Work in the Klemm Lab will impact our basic understanding of the cellular basis of fat metabolism. The group will apply this knowledge in the future to develop therapies reinstating healthy physiology in patients that suffer from metabolic disorders such as type II diabetes and obesity.

Prof Klemm is an expert in lipid biology and cellular biochemistry. During his graduate work at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, Germany, he did seminal work on how sphingolipids and sterols contribute to the organization of membrane structure and its importance in cellular secretion. As a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Tom Rapoport at Harvard Medical School in Boston, USA, he reconstituted a newly discovered membrane fusion pathway in the endoplasmic reticulum from purified components, which shed new light on mechanisms that are defective in the neurodegenerative disease hereditary spastic paraplegia.

In his own group at the University of Zurich, Prof Klemm set out to apply his training in basic cellular biochemistry to elucidate the cellular logistics of fat metabolism in white adipose tissue. His lab identified new molecular players that spatially organise metabolic pathways in the cell. Most importantly, the Klemm Lab has accumulated evidence suggesting a crosstalk between these pathways and the transcriptional programme controlling adipogenesis.

The lab employs a variety of methods spanning several disciplines and welcomes DPhil students and postdoctoral research scientists from all backgrounds to join the adventure of understanding the molecular basis of fat metabolism and mobilising society to a healthier future.

I am delighted to welcome Robin from the University of Zurich. His exciting research programme in metabolic molecular signalling will synergise with many groups in the department. - Head of Department, Professor David Paterson

Read more about Prof Klemm's work on the University of Zurich Klemm Lab website.