Faculty Profile

Dr. Dongsheng Cai, M.D.,  Ph.D.

Dongsheng Cai, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Molecular Pharmacology

Young Men's Division Chair in Physiology

Professional Interests

Our research interest is focused on understanding the role of central nervous system in the development and intervention of metabolic syndrome, aging and related diseases. First, we are studying the interactions between various signaling cascades and neuronal regulatory network that underlie the development of obesity- and aging-associated neural dysfunctions and subsequent whole-body pathophysiology. Second, we are identifying intrinsic molecular and cellular pathways which can counteract obesity- and aging-related neural dysfunctions. Finally, we are aiming to develop novel and effective strategies of molecular and cell therapies to break the pathogenic connections, leading to the prevention and treatment of metabolic and aging-related diseases.   

Selected Publications

Zhang Y, Kim M, Jia B, Yan J, Hertz J, Han C, Cai D. Hypothalamic stem cells control ageing speed partly through exosomal miRNAs. Nature (article), 2017 Aug 3; 548(7665):52-57.

(Highlighted via Nature News in Nature 547: 389, 2017, highlighted via Science News in Science July 26, 2017, highlighted in Nature Reviews Neuroscience 2017)

Zhang YL, Reichel JM, Han C, Zuniga-Hertz JP, Cai D. Astrocytic process plasticity and IKK/NF-kB in central control of blood glucose, blood pressure and body weight. Cell Metabolism. 2017, May 2; 25(5); 1091-1102.

(Highlighted in a preview in Cell Metabolism 2017; 25(5):995-996)

Zhang YM, Liu G, Yan J, Zhang YL, Li B, Cai D. Metabolic learning and memory formation by the brain influence systemic metabolic homeostasis. Nature Communications. 2015 Apr 7;6:67042015.

(Selected for news release by Nature Communications)

Kim M, Yan J, Wu W, Zhang G, Zhang Y, Cai D. Rapid linkage of innate immunological signal to adaptive immunity by the brain-fat axis. Nature Immunology. 16(5): 525-33, 2015.

(Highlighted in News & Views in Nature Immunology, 16(5):440-1, 2015, highlighted in Nature Reviews Immunology 15: 2015, recognized by Faculty 1000)

Yan J, Zhang H, Yin Y, Li J, Purkayastha S, Tang Y, Cai D. Obesity- and aging-induced excess of central TGF-b potentiates diabetic development via an RNA stress response. Nature Medicine, 20(9):1001-8, 2014.

(Highlighted in News and Views in Nature Medicine, 20(9):985-7, 2014, recognized by Faculty 1000, commentary in Nature Reviews Neuroscience 5:563, 2014)

Zhang G, Li J, Purkayastha S, Tang Y, Zhang H, Yin Y, Liu G, Cai D.Hypothalamic Programming of Systemic Aging Involving IKKβ/NF-κB and GnRH. Nature, (article), 497(7448): 211-6, 2013.

(Highlighted in News and Views in Nature 497(7448):197-8, 2013, recognized by Faculty 1000)

Li J, Tang Y, Cai D. IKKβ/NF-κB disrupts adult hypothalamic neural stem cells to mediate a neurodegenerative mechanism of dietary obesity and pre-diabetes. Nature Cell Biology, 14(10): 999-1012, 2012.

(Highlighted via Nature Cell Biology preview and news; recognized by Faculty 1000)

Zhang G, Bai H, Zhang H, Dean C, Wu Q, Li J, Guariglia S, Cai D. Neuropeptide exocytosis involving synaptotagmin-4 and oxytocin in hypothalamic programming of obesity and metabolic diseases. Neuron, 69 (3): 523-535, 2011.

(Highlighted as a featured article and in a preview in Neuron 69: 401-403, 2011, recognized by Faculty 1000)

Purkayastha S, Zhang G, Cai D. Uncoupling the mechanisms of obesity and hypertension by targeting hypothalamic IKKβ/NF-κB. Nature Medicine, 17 (7), 883-7, 2011.

(Highlighted by Nature Medicine commentary 17 (7): 782-3, 2011; discussed in preview in Cell Metabolism 14 (1): 3-4, 2011; highlighted as editorial choice in Science Signaling 4 (181), ec189, 2011, recognized by Faculty 1000.)

Zhang X, Zhang G, Zhang H, Karin M, Bai H, Cai D.  Hypothalamic IKKβ/NF-κB and ER stress link overnutrition to energy imbalance and obesity. Cell, 135 (1): 61-73, 2008. 

(Highlighted in a preview in Cell, recognized by Faculty 1000)

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

Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Jack and Pearl Resnick Campus
1300 Morris Park Avenue
Forchheimer Building, Room 216A
Bronx, NY 10461

Tel: 718.430.2426
Fax: 718.430.2433

Research Information

In the News

Science interviews Dr. Dongsheng Cai on his study in Nature that revealed stem cells in the hypothalamus control the rate of aging.

Aging is all in your mind. Nature features new research by Dr. Dongsheng Cai that found the hypothalamus is key to controlling the body’s aging processes.

More media coverage