Xiaoli Chen

Xiaoli Chen

Xiaoli Chen
Associate Professor and General Mills Chair, Department of Food Science and Nutrition
University of Minnesota, USA


She received her PhD in Nutrition from University of Georgia in 1998. Following her PhD study, she undertook postdoctoral research in the field of adipocyte biology, obesity, and type 2 diabetes in the Diabetes Branch at NIDDK/NIH in Bethesda. She started her faculty career in 2005; currently she is an Associate Professor in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota. Her major research achievement includes the identification of novel adipocyte secreted proteome and the discovery of novel functions of a new adipokine in energy metabolism. Her current research interests focus on 1) adipocyte biology, adipose tissue inflammation and dysfunction in obesity, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes, and 2) the molecular mechanisms by which dietary composition affects energy metabolism and obesity. She serves as a member of grant review panel at the NIH and manuscript reviewer for multiple high-profile journals including Diabetes and FASEB Journal.

Research Interest

My research aims to understand the molecular and cellular mechanism of the development and prevention of nutrition -related chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes. My research interests specifically focus on the following areas:
1) Adipocyte biology - regulation of adipogenesis and adipocyte secretory function,
2) Role of adipose tissue dysfunction and adipose-derived adipokines and cytokines in inflammation, insulin resistance, and metabolic homeostasis 
3) Molecular mechanisms by which dietary composition affect adipose tissue function and glucose and lipid metabolism. Cell-based and animal studies are conducted using molecular biology, proteomics and genomics techniques.