Fall Seminar Series to continue with Andrews talk on brown adipose tissue

Matt Andrews
Matt Andrews

The annual School of Natural Resources Fall Seminar Series continues Oct. 16 when Matt Andrews, director of EPSCOR and professor with SNR, presents "Nature’s fat burning machine: brown adipose tissue in a hibernating mammal."

The presentation, at 3:30 p.m. in Hardin Hall Auditorium, 3310 Holdrege St., is free and open to the public.

Brown adipose tissue, commonly known as “brown fat,” is a unique thermogenic tissue in mammals that rapidly produces heat via nonshivering thermogenesis. Small mammalian hibernators have evolved the greatest capacity for brown adipose tissue (BAT) as they use it torewarm from hypothermic torpor numerous times throughout the hibernation season. Investigations into hibernator BAT physiology have been occurring for decades, however recent efforts have been directed towards understanding the molecular underpinnings ofBAT regulation and function using a variety of methods, from mitochondrial functional assays to “omics” approaches. As a result, the inner-workings of hibernator BAT are now being illuminated. In this seminar I will discuss recent research progress that has identified players and pathways involved in brown adipocyte differentiation and maturation, as well as those involved in metabolic regulation. The unique phenotype of hibernation, and its reliance on BAT to generate heat to arouse from torpor, has uncovered new molecular mechanisms and potential strategies for biomedical applications.

Speaker's Bio
Dr. Matt Andrews began leading the NSF Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) for the state of Nebraska on July 1, 2019; he is also Professor in the University of Nebraska School of Natural Resources. He was previously Executive Associate Dean with the College of Science at Oregon State University from 2016 to 2019, where he was also a Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Prior to that, he was a Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) from 2000 to 2016, where he was also the Founding Director of Graduate Studies of the Integrated Biosciences Graduate Program, and Founding Director of the UMD Bio-Translational Research Center. Andrews had also served as Associate Professor (advancing from Assistant Professor) in the Department of Genetics at North Carolina State University from 1987 to 2000. He earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Wayne State University School of Medicine, after gaining his M.S. in Biology at Central Michigan University and his B.S. in Zoology from the University of Michigan.

SNR Fall Seminar Series
Our fall seminar series brings in leading scientists to cover a diverse range of topics, including drought and climate change; fisheries health and wildlife populations; soil health and Nebraska crops; and stakeholder engagement.

For the complete list of speakers and presentation topics, visit our seminar webpage.