Location: Feng Liu, Ph.D.



Juli Bai, Ph.D.


Personal Statement:

Obesity, which is characterized by increased adiposity, has reached epidemic proportions globally. Numerous studies have shown that chronic sterile inflammation in white adipose tissue (WAT), a major depot for chemical energy storage in the form of triglyceride (TG) and for hormone and cytokine production in response to nutritional and environmental changes, plays a key role in triggering insulin resistance and its associated metabolic diseases. In contrast to WAT, the major function of brown adipose tissue (BAT) and beige adipose tissue (bAT) is to dissipate chemical energy as heat via high levels of mitochondrial uncoupling protein 1 (UCP-1) to counteract hypothermia and obesity. Increasing thermogenesis and suppressing inflammation have been demonstrated to exert a great metabolic benefit against diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance.

The major focus of my research effort concerns the mechanisms of obesity-induced insulin resistance, sterile chronic inflammation, and energy imbalance. Particularly, I’m interested in how obesity leads to mitochondrial dysfunction and how adipocytes crosstalk with other cell types to regulate energy homeostasis in WAT, BAT as wells as in other metabolic tissues. Better understanding of the mechanism underlying obesity-induced metabolic dysfunction will provide important information for the development of new therapeutic targets for the treatment of obesity and its related diseases.



University of Shanxi
Taiyuan, China


obesity • diabetes
• inflammation • immunometabolism
• energy homeostasis

Awards & Accomplishments

• Accomplishments, Awards and Honors •

Chair’s Award for Excellence – Research Division – Department of Pharmacology – UTHSA 2017

Outstanding Postdoctoral Poster Award – 22nd Annual Graduate Student Symposium – Department of Pharmacology – UTHSCSA 2015

• Grants, Funding and Research Support •

Application of aptamers on detection of environmental analysis – Key Project Foundation of Ministry of Education of China (No. 2012-005) – Jan, 2013-Dec, 2015

• Lectures, Posters and Presentations •

DsbA-L prevents obesity-induced inflammation and insulin resistance by suppressing mtDNA release-activated cGAS-cGAMP-STING pathway – 24th Annual Graduate Student Symposium of the Department of Pharmacology, UTHSA – Oct, 2017

DsbA-L Suppresses Inflammation and Promotes Beiging and Thermogenesis by Improving Mitochondrial Function – Diabetes, Keystone Symposium on Molecular and Cellular Biology – Keystone, USA – Jan, 2017

DsbA-L promotes thermogenesis and suppresses inflammation by inhibition of mitochondrial stress-induced cGAS/cGAMP/STING/TBK1 retrograde signaling – 23th Annual Graduate Student Symposium of the Department of Pharmacology, UTHSA – Oct, 2016

Identification of DsbA-L as Key Regulator of Mitochondrial Function and Energy Homeostasis – NHLBI/NIDDK Mitochondrial Biology Symposium, NIH – Bethesda, USA – May, 2016 and 75th American Diabetes Association – Boston, USA – Jun, 2015

The role of the cGAS-cGAMP pathway in regulating energy homeostasis. Innovative Basic Science Award of American Diabetes Association (No. 1-19-IBS-147)  01/2019-12-2021

DsbA-L deficiency in adipose tisse impairs mitochondrial function and exacerbates diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance in mice – 22nd Annual Graduate Student Symposium of the Department of Pharmacology, UTHSA – Oct, 2015

Identification of DsbA-L as a key regulator of mitochondrial function, thermogenesis, and energy homeostasis – 3rd San Antonio Postdoctoral Research Forum – Aug, 2015

DsbA-L Deficiency in adipose tissues impaired non-shivering thermogenesis and mitochondrial homeostasis – 21th Annual Graduate Student Symposium of the Department of Pharmacology, UTHSA – Oct, 2014

mTORC1 signaling, function and regulation in adipocyte tissues – 43RD Annual Meeting of the American Aging Association – San Antonio, USA – Jun, 2014


Editorial Board Member – Journal of Bioresearch Communications

Hoc Reviewer – National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (NIFA) Exploratory Research Program

American Diabetes Association (ADA)

Chinese Society of Environmental Science (CSES)

Chinese Society of Toxicology (CST)

Shanxi Society of Toxicology (SST)



Dong, C., Bai, J., Zhang, L., Tan, X., Qiao, J. and Li, Z. A New Method for Preparation of the Palladium Electrode – Invention Patent No. ZL200710139432.0 – The main classification number of international patent is G01N 27/30 and the proclaiming date of accrediting is August 25, 2010

Meng Z, Geng H, Bai J, Zhang J, Zhang X. A lowering-blood pressure compound and its preparation way and application – Invention Patent, No. ZL 03147339.3 – The main classification number of international patent is A61K 33/04. And the proclaiming date of accrediting is December 28, 2005