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Feng-Chih Kuo


DPhil Student

I am a postgraduate student, working under the supervision of Dr Katherine Pinnick and Prof Fredrik Karpe in Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology & Metabolism. My research project focuses on subcutaneous gluteal and abdominal human adipose tissue: the intrinsic differences in biological function, genetic expression and epigenetic regulation.   Epidemiological data already provides strong evidence that body fat distribution is crucial for the metabolic disorders. Gluteofemoral adipose tissue possesses protective roles, while abdominal adipose tissue is detrimental.  Genome-wide association studies and tissue specific microarray data point out HOX Transcript Antisense RNA (HOTAIR) as a long non-coding RNA may plays important roles in the body fat distribution. Therefore, my project mainly explores the depot-specific HOTAIR expression in human adipose tissue, illustrates the association between HOTAIR locus genotype and phenotype, assesses functional effects of HOTAIR knockdown/overexpression in human preadipocyte. Furthermore, I am hoping to identify some of the molecular mechanisms and pathways of HOTAIR-mediated adipogenesis that enable to apply on depot-specific body fat manipulation.