Hassan M. Heshmati received his Medical Doctor Diploma from the University of Paris VI, Paris, France in 1976 and his Endocrinology Board Certificate from the University of Paris V, Paris, France in 1980. He has more than 40 years of experience in clinical research in Academia (university-affiliated hospitals in Paris, France and Mayo foundation in Rochester, MN, USA) and in Pharmaceutical Companies (Sanofi, Essentialis, and Gelesis, USA). His research activity has been related to pituitary tumor, gonadal function, dyslipidemia, hyperthyroidism, thyroid cancer, osteoporosis, obesity, and diabetes. He has extensive knowledge in the development of anti-obesity products. He is the author of more than 250 presentations and publications related to Endocrinology and Metabolism. He is currently the Executive Vice President of Endocrinology and Metabolism at Gelesis.
Professor Mehmet Emre Atabek has completed his Ph.D. at the age of 37 years from Erciyes University and postdoctoral studies from Selcuk University School of Meram Medicine. He is the director of Pediatric Endocrinology, a premier pediatric endocrinolgy and diabetology service organization. He has published more than 140 papers in reputed journals and has been serving as an editorial board member of repute. He has been interested in searching metabolic problems of obese children in most of his articles. His articles have been cited more than 1500 citations by another article in Web of Science so far. He continues to work as head of the Department of Pedaitric Endocrinolgy, Necmettin Erbakan University.
Obesity is a major healthcare challenge and although genome-wide association studies (GWAS) weretremendously successful in identifying novel variants only part of the total variabilitycan be explained so far. Moreover, adipose tissue distribution, especially visceral obesity is accompanied by increased risk for further metabolic conditions such as type 2 diabetes (T2D), dyslipidemia and hypertension. A strong contribution of non-genetic factors such as changes in DNA methylation may influence obesity development and may provide a link to its related diseases. Several studies have shown that weight-loss or exercise significantly alter methylation levels in skeletal muscle or subcutaneous adipose tissue. We show that inter-depot specific DNA methylation in visceral vs. subcutaneous adipose tissue drives gene expression differences while methylation levels are related to clinically relevant variables of fat distribution, glucose homeostasis and insulin metabolism. By applying top down and bottom up approaches we have analyzedestablished candidate genes and identified novel genes that were not previously described to contribute to depot-specific effects and fat distribution. We further describe that DNA methylation may mediate association between genetics and clinical traits.
Yvonne Böttcher is Full Professor of Molecular Medicine at the University of Oslo, Norway. She also holds a part time position as a research Professor at Akershus University Hospital in Lørenskog, Norway. Yvonne Böttcher studied Biology and earned her PhD in Genetics in Germany. Her major field of research is in genetics and epigenetics of obesity with a special emphasis on adipose tissue biology.