Paul Trayhurn – Chair of the SAB
University of Liverpool, University of Buckingham and University of the Highlands & Islands, UK
Professor Paul Trayhurn is Emeritus Professor of Nutritional Biology at the University of Liverpool, Dean of Research Strategy at the University of Buckingham and Professor of Obesity and Related Disorders at the University of the Highlands & Islands. He received his BSc in Physiology & Biochemistry from the University of Reading in 1969, and his DPhil and a DSc from the University of Oxford in 1972 and 1995, respectively. After post-doctoral posts in Strasbourg (NATO European Research Fellow) and Oxford, he was on the Scientific Staff of the Medical Research Council Dunn Nutrition Laboratory, Cambridge, from 1975 to 1986. His subsequent appointments include: Professor and Heritage Scholar in Nutrition & Metabolism, University of Alberta, Canada (1986-88); Head of the Division of Biomedical Science, Rowett Research Institute, Aberdeen (1988-2000); Professor of Nutritional Biology, University of Oslo (2000-01); Professor of Nutritional Biology and Director of the Obesity Biology Research Unit, University of Liverpool (2001-09). He has served on a number of national and international Committees and Boards, and from 1999-2005 was Editor-in-Chief of the British Journal of Nutrition. His current roles include those of Chairman of both the Scientific and Awards Committees of the International Association for the Study of Obesity. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (National Academy of Scotland) in 1997.
Prof. Trayhurn’s research has centred since 1975 on the regulation of energy balance and body fat. The efficiency of energy utilisation and the biology of heat production in relation to nutritional energetics was a key early interest of his programme, with brown adipose tissue being the focus of much of this work. Since 1994 the endocrine and signalling role of white adipose tissue – particularly through the adipokines and the pathological significance of altered adipokine secretion to the development of insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome in obesity - has been his major interest. Recently, he has pioneered the concept that as adipose tissue mass expands in the obese, hypoxia develops leading to inflammation and tissue dysfunction.
Jean-Paul Giacobino – Member of the SAB
Geneva University, CH
Dr. Jean-Paul Giacobino is an honorary professor of the Faculty of Medicine at Geneva University. He received his MD diploma in 1963 and his MD thesis in 1968 from Geneva University. He specialized in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He was appointed to associate professor in 1984 and full professor in 1998. He was a visiting professor at the Stem Cell Research Center, University of Pittsburgh PA, from 2004 to 2006. Prof Giacobino is also a co-founder of Energesis Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge MA.
The research interests of Prof. Giacobino are the biology of white and brown adipose tissues and the energy dissipation pathways in brown adipose tissue and skeletal muscle. The main achievements of his team were, in 1991, the cloning and characterization of the mouse β3-adrenoceptor and the first demonstration that it is an "adipose" receptor, down regulated in obesity. Then, in 1991,the cloning of the skeletal muscle uncoupling protein-3 (UCP3). Eventually, the identification and isolation of brown adipocyte progenitors, with a high potential for UCP1 expression, in human skeletal muscle and the detection of UCP1 in this tissue (2008). These studies might contribute to the definition of new targets to fight obesity and diabetes by increasing energy dissipation.
Sander Kersten – Member of the SAB
Wageningen University, NL and Cornell University, USA
Dr. Sander Kersten is full professor within the Division of Human Nutrition at Wageningen University and adjunct associate professor within the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University. He received his MSc degree in Human Nutrition from Wageningen University in 1993, and his PhD degree in Nutritional Biochemistry from Cornell University in 1997. After a postdoctoral stay in the laboratory of Walter Wahli at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, he moved back to Wageningen in 2000 with a career development grant of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was appointed to associate professor in 2006 and full professor in 2011.
The current research interests of Prof. Kersten cover three main areas: 1) the regulation of gene expression by lipids, emphasizing the role of PPARs and other nuclear hormone receptors, 2) the functional roles of Angiopoietin-like protein 4 in lipid metabolism, and 3) the relationship between lipid metabolism and inflammation. These research topics fall within the broader aim of trying to obtain more insight into the relationship between dietary lipids and health/disease, and to improve our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying obesity and its metabolic complications.
Werner Kramer – Member of the SAB
Prof. Dr. Dr. Kramer is a physician and chemist by training. He studied at Freiburg University and graduated to PhD in 1981 and to MD in 1985. After his approbation as a physician and his habilitation in biochemistry he became an associate professor at Frankfurt University. In parallel to his academic achievements, Prof. Kramer started a career in pharmaceutical industry and moved to Hoechst AG Frankfurt (later HMR) as a lab head. He became head of the group Metabolism in 1989. After the foundation of Aventis S.A. and fusion with Sanofi, he tenured several leadership positions at Aventis S.A. and Sanofi-Aventis S.A. in Frankfurt, Paris and Madrid between 2000 and 2010, including Global Head of the therapeutic department Metabolism and Member of the Board of Sanofi-Aventis Germany. He holds 56 patents in the fields of diabetes and lipid disorders. During his employment with Sanofi-Aventis, he was instrumental in the discovery and development of 4 Diabetes drugs to market, including the world-leading insulin brand Lantus™.
Currently, Prof. Kramer is the coordinator of an Innovative Medicine Initiative (IMI) Consortium of the European Community (IMIDIA: ß-Cell Medicine) and acts as a consultant and free-lancing scientific advisor for Sanofi Germany and Phenex Pharmaceuticals in Heidelberg.