Faculty Profile

Dr. Young-Hwan Jo, Ph.D.

Young-Hwan Jo, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Medicine (Endocrinology)

Associate Professor, Department of Molecular Pharmacology

Areas of Research: Neurobiology of obesity, Electrophysiological analysis of hypothalamic neurons, Neuronal mapping of feeding-related circuits, Behavioral evaluation of cell type-specific circuit connections using optogenetics

Professional Interests

Obesity is a chronic metabolic disorder characterized by an excess of body fat. Obesity results from prolonged positive energy balance (i.e. energy intake exceeding energy expenditure). Because obesity may develop over many years in humans, only small imbalances in energy intake and expenditure are required. The cause of excessive positive energy balance in obesity has not been clearly defined. Nevertheless, key regulatory components reside in the hypothalamus, specifically in the arcuate nucleus (ARC). The hypothalamic neurons are major components of the neural circuits that control energy homeostasis. Amomg hypothalamic neurons, Proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons in the ARC play a major role in regulating energy intake, energy expenditure, and glucose metabolism. 

The overall goal of my research is to generate a comprehensive functional mapping of the central melanocortin system that regulates energy intake, energy expenditure, and glucose metabolism. My laboratory uses multiple cutting-edge techniques such as conditional viral tracing, optogenetics, pharmacogenetics, in vivoGCaMP6 imaging, CRISPR/Cas-9 gene-knockdown, single cell RNAseq, and electrophysiology. 


Selected Publications

Recent Publications (2012- present)

1. Jeong JH, Chang JS, and Jo YH, Intracellular glycolysis in brown adipose tissue is essential for optogenetically induced nonshivering thermogenesis in mice. Scientific Reports. 2018, Apr 27;8(1):6672

2. Jeong JH, Lee DK, Liu S-M,Chua SC Jr.,Schwartz GJ,and Jo YH, Activation of Temperature-sensitive TRPV1-like receptors in ARC POMC neurons reduces food intake. PLOS Biology, 2018, 16 (4):e2004399

3. Liu S, Marcelin G, Blouet C, Jeong JH, Jo YH, Schwartz GJ, Chua S Jr. A gut-brain axis regulating glucose metabolism mediated by bile acids and competitive fibroblast growth factor actions at the hypothalamus. Molelcular metabolism, 2017 Dec S2212-8778(17)30843-8

4. Jae Hoon Jeong, Dong Kun Lee, and Young-Hwan Jo, Cholinergic neurons in the dorsomedial hypothalamus regulates food intake. Molecular metabolism, 2017, Jan 12;6(3):306-312 

5. Jeong J.H., Woo Y.J., Chua S.C., and Jo Y.H. Single-cell gene expression analysis of cholinergic neurons in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus. PLOS One (2016) Sep 9;11(9):e0162839. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0162839

6. Jeong J.H., Lee DK, Blouet C, Ruiz H.H., Buettner C, Chua S.C., Schwartz G.J., and Jo Y.H. Cholinergic neurons in the dorsomedial hypothalamus regulate mouse brown adipose tissue metabolism. Molecular metabolism, 2015, 11;4(6):483-92  

7. Lee D.K., Jeong J.H., Chun S.]K., Chua S.C. Jr. and Jo Y.H*  Interplay between glucose and leptin signaling determines the strength of GABAergic synapses at POMC neurons. Nature Commun26;6:6618. doi: 10.1038/ncomms7618 (2015)

8. Lee DK, Jeong JH, Oh SH and Jo YH* Apelin]13 enhances arcuate POMC neuron activity via inhibiting M]current. PLOS One, Mar 17;10(3):e0119457 (2015)

9. Marcelin G, Jo YH, Li X, Schwartz GJ, Zhang Y, Dun NJ, Lyu RM, Blouet C, Chang JK, Chua SC, Central action of FGF19 reduces hypothalamic AGRP/NPY neuron activity and improves glucose metabolism. Molecular Metabolism, 23; 3(1):19]28 (2013)

10.  Byun K, Gil SY, Youn BS, Huang H,  Namkoong C, Jang PG, Lee JY, Jo YH, Kang GM, Kim HK, Shin MS,  Pietrzik  CU,  Lee B,    Kim YB,    Kim MS,   Clusterin  (ApoJ)  and  LRP2  are  critical components of the central leptin signaling pathway. Nature Comm. 4:1862 (2013) 

11. Groessl F, Jeong JH, Talmage DA, Role LW and Jo YH, Overnight fasting regulates inhibitory tone to cholinergic neurons of the dorsomedial nucleus of the hypothalamus. PLOS One, Vol. 8 (4), e60828 (2013)

12. Lu, Z , Marcelin G, Bauzon M, Wang H, Fu H, Dun SL, Zhao H, Li X, Jo YH, Wardlaw S, Dun N, Chua, S Jr.,and Zhu L., pRb is an obesity suppressor in hypothalamus and high]fat diet inhibits pRb in this location. EMBO, 32(6):844]57 (2013)

13. Blouet, C., Lui, SM, Jo, YH, Li, X. and Schwartz, G., TXNIP in Agrp Neurons Regulates Adiposity, Energy Expenditure, and Central Leptin Sensitivity. J. NeurosciJul 18;32(29):9870]9877 (2012)

14. Israel, DD, Sheffer]Babila, S, de Luca, C, Jo, YH, Liu, SM, Xia, Q, Spergel, D, Dun, SK, Dun, NJ and Chua, SC, Effects of leptin and melanocortin signaling on pubertal development and reproduction. Endocrinology, May; 153(5):2408]19 (2012) 

15. Jo, YH, Endogenous BDNF regulates inhibitory synaptic transmission in the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus. J. Neurophysiol. Jan; 107: 42]49 (2012)


1. Jo, YH and Chua S.C., The Brain–Liver Connection Between BDNF and Glucose Control. Diabetes, Vol 62: 1367]1368 (2013)

2. Jo, YH and Buettner, C., Why leptin keeps you warm. Molecular metabolism, Oct 1; 3(8):779]80 (2014)

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Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Jack and Pearl Resnick Campus
1300 Morris Park Avenue
Forchheimer Building, Room 505A
Bronx, NY 10461

Tel: 718.430.3495

Research Information

In the News

Forbes features research by Dr. Young-Hwan Jo suggesting why exercise that raises the body’s temperature can result in a temporary loss of appetite.

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