Associate Professor of Physiological Metabolism
- Tutorial Fellow in Medicine, Somerville College
Spatial organization of fat metabolism
Robin’s main research interest is focused on the molecular basis of lipid metabolism in professional fat storing cells called adipocytes.
He carried out his PhD work at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in the lab of Kai Simons. Robin worked on the sorting principles of lipids in the secretory pathway and developed novel organelle isolation methods allowing the rapid purification of several organelles for analysis by mass spectrometry-based proteomics and lipidomics. He presented the first quantitative membrane lipidomes of eukaryotic organelles and identified the role of sphingolipids and sterols in the formation of secretory vesicles at the trans-Golgi network.
During his postdoctoral work at the Harvard Medical School in the lab of Tom Rapoport, Robin reconstituted homotypic ER fusion pathways with purified GTPases of the dynamin family called Atlastin in metazoans and Sey1p in yeast. Depletion of these ER fusogens had unexpected consequences for lipid droplet biology and whole-body lipid metabolism.
Starting his independent work as a group leader at the University of Zurich, Robin switched his focus to lipid droplet biology in adipocytes. The Klemm lab has identified new molecular machinery coupling mitochondria to the ER and adipocyte lipid droplets. The spatial organization of metabolism across several organelles is a fascinating aspect of cellular biochemistry and its regulation and control is absolutely crucial for whole body health and metabolic homeostasis.
In 2020, Robin moved his lab to the University of Oxford. At the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, his group investigates the molecular basis of adipocyte LD formation, spatial organization of lipid metabolism and the role of de novo lipogenesis in the etiology of obesity and type II diabetes.
The cell biology of lipid droplets: More than just a phase.
Klemm RW. and Ikonen E., (2020), Semin Cell Dev Biol
Principles of organelle spatial organization and interactions.
Klemm RW. and Carvalho P., (2020), Mol Biol Cell, 31, 401 - 402
MIGA2 Links Mitochondria, the ER, and Lipid Droplets and Promotes De Novo Lipogenesis in Adipocytes.
Freyre CAC. et al, (2019), Mol Cell, 76, 811 - 825.e14
ER remodeling by the large GTPase atlastin promotes vacuolar growth of Legionella pneumophila
Steiner B. et al, (2017), EMBO REPORTS, 18, 1817 - 1836
A model for the generation and interconversion of ER morphologies
Shemesh T. et al, (2014), PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 111, E5243 - E5251