UCSF researcher receives Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers at White House

President Barack Obama talks with the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) recipients in the East   Room of the White House, April 14, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

UCSF researcher receives Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers at White House
Dr. Shingo Kajimura meets President Barack Obama

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- On Monday, April 14, 2014, President Barack Obama honored recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in the East Room of the White House. Representing the University of California San Francisco, Dr. Shingo Kajimura, Assistant Professor in the UCSF Diabetes Center and UCSF Dentistry's Department of Cell and Tissue Biology, was among 102 recipients who received the prestigious award.

Shingo Kajimura"I am greatly honored to meet the President, and to be surrounded by so many innovators," Kajimura said. "I'm deeply humbled to be among so many forward-thinking researchers."

Dr. Kajimura's work at UCSF focuses on obesity -- a major risk factor for metabolic disorders, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. By studying brown fat cells, which specialize in the dissipation of chemical energy in the form of heat, and white fat cells, which function exclusively in the storage of excess energy, Kajimura's goal is to uncover why brown fat function is so tightly linked to the development of obesity and metabolic disorders.

"Using genetic and chemical techniques, my lab's main focus is to uncover the molecular circuits that control fat cell development," Kajimura said. "Our long-term goal is to develop methods that convert white fat into brown fat, which is considered to be good fat. Hopefully this will result in a novel approach to dealing with obesity and type-2 diabetes."

According to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.

"Shingo is an outstanding investigator," said Matthias Hebrok, PhD and Director of UCSF's Diabetes Center. "We are thrilled that he is being nationally-recognized with this award." 

For more information, visit the UCSF Diabetes Center.

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