Stephen Farmer, PhD
Boston University School of Medicine
Dept of Biochemistry

PhD, National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR)

Obesity has now reached pandemic proportions, resulting in dramatic increases in the occurrence of its associated disorders including diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Understanding the processes and metabolic perturbations that contribute to the expansion of adipose depots accompanying obesity is critical for the development of appropriate therapeutics. Expansion of white adipose (WAT) tissue depots particularly the intra-abdominal depots contribute to insulin resistance and inflammation that lead to type 2 diabetes, whereas brown adipose (BAT) resists expansion because it oxidizes lipids and, consequently, it is associated with an healthier phenotype. Our studies are focused on identifying the mechanisms regulating the formation and function of white and brown adipocytes (fat cells) using a variety of experimental approaches including overexpression and knock down of specific nuclear factors that we consider to be likely regulators of these processes in cells in culture as well as in mice. At present our focus is on nuclear factors that modulate the activity of the two principal regulators of adipogenesis (fat cell differentiation) peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARg) and CCAAT/enhancer binding proteins alpha, beta and delta (C/EBPs). We are particularly interested in identifying the factors regulating commitment of mesenchymal progenitors to the adipogenic lineage and are adopting a variety of approaches to achieve this goal, which includes gene profiling to discover novel regulators as well as investigating the role of selected candidate genes.

Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students)
Boston University School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Sciences

Boston Medical Center

Healthy Remodeling of Obese Adipose Tissue
03/01/2018 - 03/31/2022 (PI)
NIH/National Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases

Boston Nutrition Obesity Research Center - ABM Core
11/01/2018 - 05/31/2019 (PI)
Boston Medical Center Corporation NIH NIDDK

Healthier White Adipose by recruitment of Beige/Brite Adipocytes
04/16/2014 - 02/28/2019 (PI)
NIH/National Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases

Enhancing Energy Expending Adipocytes in White Adipose Tissue
04/01/2016 - 03/31/2017 (PI)
NIH/National Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases

Enhancing Energy Expending Adipocytes in White Adipose Tissue
04/01/2013 - 03/31/2016 (PI)
NIH/National Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases

Cell Culture Approaches to Generating Brown Adipose Tissue for Autologous
10/03/2011 - 09/14/2014 (PI)
Energesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc DOD Army

Yr Title Project-Sub Proj Pubs
2019 Healthy Remodeling of Obese Adipose Tissue 5R01DK117161-02
2018 Healthy Remodeling of Obese Adipose Tissue 1R01DK117161-01
2017 Healthier White Adipose by Recruitment of Beige/Brite Adipocytes 5R01DK102199-04 5
2016 Healthier White Adipose by Recruitment of Beige/Brite Adipocytes 5R01DK102199-03 5
2016 Enhancing Energy Expending Adipocytes in White Adipose Tissue 4R01DK098830-04 6
2015 Healthier White Adipose by Recruitment of Beige/Brite Adipocytes 5R01DK102199-02 5
2015 Enhancing Energy Expending Adipocytes in White Adipose Tissue 5R01DK098830-03 6
2014 Healthier White Adipose by Recruitment of Beige/Brite Adipocytes 1R01DK102199-01 5
2014 Enhancing Energy Expending Adipocytes in White Adipose Tissue 3R01DK098830-02S1 6
2014 Enhancing Energy Expending Adipocytes in White Adipose Tissue 5R01DK098830-02 6
Showing 10 of 44 results. Show All Results
Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

  1. Rabhi N, Farmer SR. Adipose Progenitor Cells Contribute to Lipid Spillover during Obesity. Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2019 Jul; 30(7):416-418. PMID: 31153731.
  2. Farmer SR. Boning Up on Irisin. N Engl J Med. 2019 04 11; 380(15):1480-1482. PMID: 30970196.
  3. Henriques F, Lopes MA, Franco FO, Knobl P, Santos KB, Bueno LL, Correa VA, Bedard AH, Guilherme A, Birbrair A, Peres SB, Farmer SR, Batista ML. Toll-Like Receptor-4 Disruption Suppresses Adipose Tissue Remodeling and Increases Survival in Cancer Cachexia Syndrome. Sci Rep. 2018 Dec 21; 8(1):18024. PMID: 30575787.
  4. Jager M, Lee MJ, Li C, Farmer SR, Fried SK, Layne MD. Aortic carboxypeptidase-like protein enhances adipose tissue stromal progenitor differentiation into myofibroblasts and is upregulated in fibrotic white adipose tissue. PLoS One. 2018; 13(5):e0197777.View Related Profiles. PMID: 29799877.
  5. Lin JZ, Rabhi N, Farmer SR. Myocardin-Related Transcription Factor A Promotes Recruitment of ITGA5+ Profibrotic Progenitors during Obesity-Induced Adipose Tissue Fibrosis. Cell Rep. 2018 May 15; 23(7):1977-1987. PMID: 29768198.
  6. Hou X, Zhang Y, Li W, Hu AJ, Luo C, Zhou W, Hu JK, Daniele SG, Wang J, Sheng J, Fan Y, Greenberg AS, Farmer SR, Hu MG. CDK6 inhibits white to beige fat transition by suppressing RUNX1. Nat Commun. 2018 03 09; 9(1):1023. PMID: 29523786.
  7. Wang H, Liu L, Lin JZ, Aprahamian TR, Farmer SR. Browning of White Adipose Tissue with Roscovitine Induces a Distinct Population of UCP1+ Adipocytes. Cell Metab. 2016 Dec 13; 24(6):835-847.View Related Profiles. PMID: 27974179; DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2016.10.005;.
  8. Bian H, Lin JZ, Li C, Farmer SR. Myocardin-related transcription factor A (MRTFA) regulates the fate of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells and its absence in mice leads to osteopenia. Mol Metab. 2016 Oct; 5(10):970-9.View Related Profiles. PMID: 27689009; DOI: 10.1016/j.molmet.2016.08.012;.
  9. Lin JZ, Farmer SR. LSD1-a pivotal epigenetic regulator of brown and beige fat differentiation and homeostasis. Genes Dev. 2016 Aug 15; 30(16):1793-5. PMID: 27601528; PMCID: PMC5024678; DOI: 10.1101/gad.288720.116;.
  10. Lin JZ, Farmer SR. Morphogenetics in brown, beige and white fat development. Adipocyte. 2016 Apr-Jun; 5(2):130-5. PMID: 27386157; DOI: 10.1080/21623945.2016.1140708;.
Showing 10 of 96 results. Show More

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 92 publications over 33 distinct years, with a maximum of 6 publications in 1999

In addition to these self-described keywords below, a list of MeSH based concepts is available here.

fat cells
fat cell differentiation
CCAAT Enhancer Binding Protein
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72 E. Concord St Silvio Conte (K)
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