Faculty Profile

Dr. Jeffrey E. Pessin, Ph.D.

Jeffrey E. Pessin, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Medicine (Endocrinology)

Professor, Department of Molecular Pharmacology

Judy R. and Alfred A. Rosenberg Professorial Chair in Diabetes Research

Director, Diabetes Research Center, Department of Medicine

Areas of Research: Regulation of glucose metabolism Epigenetic modifications regulating metabolism Regulation of lipogenic gene transcription and de novo lipogenesis Program cell death adipocyte and liver biology Integrative metabolic signaling

Professional Interests

The Pessin laboratory is analyzing insulin signaling at the molecular level, the regulation of glucose uptake and metabolism at the cellular, molecular level and the integrative systems of metabolism in normal and pathophysiologic states in genetic rodent models. Our efforts have been focused on three major aspects of insulin signaling and insulin sensitivity. These areas include the molecular mechanisms of adipose tissue inflammation leading to fibrosis and programmed cell death, the regulation of insulin/nutriebt signaling in the regulation of liver gluconeogenesis and lipogenesis and there dysregulation in states of insulin resistance.

One major laboratory project is the investigation of adipocyte progenitor cells, adipocyte programmed cell death and adipose tissue fibrosis that is induced by high fat feeding. In these studies, we have utilized a variety of experimental approaches including genetically engineered mice, Fluorescent Activated Cell Sorting (FACS) analyses and sorting along with quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). In these analyses we isolated a variety of inflammatory specific cell types within adipose tissue and have taken extensive use of RNAseq technology to characterize the expression profiles of these various cell subsets. This approach has allowed us to develop a functional understanding of the signaling interplay between the adipose tissue immune cell types to determine the specific role each cell is playing in the inflammatory response. In these efforts, we also are exploring the relationship between metabolism, autophagy and energy balance in adipocyte lineage determination (brown, beige and white) as a potential therapeutic approach for both diabetes and obesity. 

A second major laboratory project is based upon our recent findings that in the fed state CDK8/CycC complex directly phosphorylates the nuclear form of SREBP-1c that induces an E3 ligase mediated ubiquitination and proteasome-mediated degradation of SREBP-1c. This process is one of several that is required to maintain nuclear SREBP1-c at very low levels thereby suppresses lipogenic gene expression and lipogenesis. However, n the fed state, CDK8/CycC proteins are rapidly down regulated through a mTORC1 dependent pathway leading to increased SREBP-1c stability and increased lipogenic gene expression and lipogenesis. During the past two years, we have developed a robust research team, several key mouse genetic models, human liver biopsy speciments and cell based approaches to investigate the regulation of liver gluconeogenesis abd lipogenesis in normal and pathophysiologic states of insulin resistance, obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NFALD). In these approaches we perform various high-through put DNA sequencing technologies (ie: RNA-seq, ChIP-seq, 3 dimensional DNA conformation capture (Hi-C) that are used to directly assess the epigenetic basis of normal and pathological liver metabolic funciton.


Selected Publications

SNAP23 regulates BAX-dependent adipocyte programmed cell death independently of canonical macroautophagy. Feng D, Amgalan D, Singh R, Wei J, Wen J, Wei TP, McGraw TE, Kitsis RN, and Pessin JE. J. Clin. Invest. In press, 2018.

Autophagy Regulates the Liver Clock and Glucose Metabolism by Degrading CRY1. Toledo M, Batista-Gonzalez A, Merheb E, Aoun ML, Tarabra E, Feng D, Sarparanta J, Merlo P, Botrè F, Schwartz GJ, Pessin JE, Singh R. Cell Metab. 2018 Jun 11. pii: S1550-4131(18)30330-9.

The fructose-2,6-bisphosphatase TIGAR suppresses NF-κB signaling by directly inhibiting the linear ubiquitin assembly complex LUBAC. Tang Y, Kwon H, Neel BA, Kasher-Meron M, Pessin JB, Yamada E, Pessin JE. J Biol Chem. 2018 May 18;293(20):7578-7591.

Mangiferin Accelerates Glycolysis and Enhances Mitochondrial Bioenergetics. Liu Z, Apontes P, Fomenko EV, Chi N, Schuster VL, Kurland IJ, Pessin JE, Chi Y. Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Jan 9;19(1).

System-wide Benefits of Intermeal Fasting by Autophagy. Martinez-Lopez N, Tarabra E, Toledo M, Garcia-Macia M, Sahu S, Coletto L, Batista-Gonzalez A, Barzilai N, Pessin JE, Schwartz GJ, Kersten S, Singh R. Cell Metab. 2017 Dec 5;26(6):856-871.

ARC is essential for maintaining pancreatic islet structure and β-cell viability during type 2 diabetes. McKimpson WM, Zheng M, Chua SC, Pessin JE, Kitsis RN. Sci Rep. 2017 Aug 1;7(1):7019.

Cyclin C regulates adipogenesis by stimulating transcriptional activity of CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein α. Song Z, Xiaoli AM, Zhang Q, Zhang Y, Yang EST, Wang S, Chang R, Zhang ZD, Yang G, Strich R, Pessin JE, Yang F. J Biol Chem. 2017 May 26;292(21):8918-8932

MC4R-dependent suppression of appetite by bone-derived lipocalin 2. Mosialou I, Shikhel S, Liu JM, Maurizi A, Luo N, He Z, Huang Y, Zong H, Friedman RA, Barasch J, Lanzano P, Deng L, Leibel RL, Rubin M, Nickolas T, Chung W, Zeltser LM, Williams KW, Pessin JE, Kousteni S. Nature. 2017 Mar 16;543(7645):385-390.

Regulation of metabolism by the Mediator complex. Youn DY, Xiaoli AM, Pessin JE, Yang F. Biophys Rep. 2016;2(2):69-77

Transcription Factor EB Controls Metabolic Flexibility during Exercise. Mansueto G, Armani A, Viscomi C, D'Orsi L, De Cegli R, Polishchuk EV, Lamperti C, Di Meo I, Romanello V, Marchet S, Saha PK, Zong H, Blaauw B, Solagna F, Tezze C, Grumati P, Bonaldo P, Pessin JE, Zeviani M, Sandri M, Ballabio A. Cell Metab. 2017 Jan 10;25(1):182-196


More Information About Dr. Jeffrey Pessin

Diabetes Research and Training Center

Material in this section is provided by individual faculty members who are solely responsible for its accuracy and content.

Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Michael F. Price Center
1301 Morris Park Avenue , Room 375
Bronx, NY 10461

Tel: 718.678.1029

Research Information

In the News

Modern Healthcare interviews Drs. Eric Bouhassira and Jeffrey Pessin in a cover story on federal and state stem cell funding. The cover, entitled, Dishing it Out, appears in the March 16th edition.

More media coverage