Wilf Family Cardiovascular Research Institute

Rajat Singh, M.D., M.B., B.S.

Rajat Singh, M.D., M.B., B.S.Rajat Singh, M.D., M.B., B.S.
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine (Endocrinology)
Associate Professor, Department of Molecular Pharmacology

Dr. Singh and colleagues demonstrated a role for autophagy in mobilization and degradation of intracellular lipid stores by a process we termed lipophagy, thus mapping autophagy to metabolic regulation. They have recently shown that lipophagy in hypothalamic neurons generates neuron-intrinsic free fatty acids that drive neuronal feeding mechanisms. The primary research focus of Dr. Singh's laboratory is to examine the organ-specific roles of autophagy in the regulation of lipid metabolism and energy/ glucose homeostasis using biochemical, immunohisto- chemical, and image-based approaches in vitro and in conditional knockout mouse models. The second research focus is to examine the consequences of aging-associated reduction of autophagy on the development of the metabolic syndrome of aging. Dr. Singh's long-term goals are to understand how to activate autophagy to prevent diabetes and improve the health span in the aging population. full bio>> 

Key Publications

  1. Kaushik S, Rodriguez-Navarro, JA, Arias E, Kiffin R, Sahu S, Schwartz GJ, Cuervo AM, Singh R. Autophagy in hypothalamic AgRP neurons regulates food intake and energy balance. Cell Metabolism 2011; 14: 173-183.
  2. Kaushik S, Arias E, Kwon H, Martinez-Lopez N, Sahu S, Schwartz GJ, Pessin JE, Singh R. Loss of autophagy in hypothalamic POMC neurons impairs lipolysis. EMBO Reports 2012; 13(3): 258-65.
  3. Martinez-Lopez N, Athonvarangkul D, Sahu S, Coletto L, Zong H, Bastie CC, Pessin JE, Schwartz GJ, Singh R. Autophagy in Myf5+ progenitors regulates energy and glucose homeostasis through control of brown fat and skeletal muscle development. EMBO Reports 2013; 14(9): 795-803.
  4. Martinez-Lopez N, Athonvarangkul D, Mishall P, Sahu S, Singh R. Autophagy proteins regulate ERK phosphorylation. Nature Communications 2013; 4: 2799.
  5. Martinez-Lopez N, Singh R. Autophagy and lipid droplets in the liver. Annual Reviews of Nutrition


  1. Ellison Medical Foundation
    New Scholar Award $92,593
    Hypothalamic autophagy and the metabolic syndrome of aging
    To examine how MA links signals of nutrient availability to energy expenditure.
  2. 5R01AG043517-02
    NIH/NIA $205,000
    Hypothalamic autophagy and metabolic regulation in aging
    The metabolic syndrome is a significant health problem effecting greater than 44% of the U.S. population more than 50 years of age. These studies will be critical to the development of new therapeutic strategies against the metabolic syndrome of aging.
  3. 2P01AG031782-06A1
    NIH/NIA $1,499,040
    Functional Consequences of Impaired Autophagy in Aging
    Project 4 Leader: Singh
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