Kristy Townsend

Kristy Townsend is Assistant Professor of Neurobiology in the School of Biology and Ecology (SBE) at the University of Maine, cooperating faculty in the School of Food and Agriculture (SFA) and Department of Molecular and Biomedical Science (MBMS), and a faculty member in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Engineering (GSBSE).  Dr. Townsend is a UMaine grad, who went on to received her Ph.D. from Boston University Program in Neuroscinece in 2007. 

 
Research in the Townsend Lab focuses on the following themes: Communication between the brain and peripheral organs/tissues in the regulation of energy expenditure; brain regulation of appetite, obesity and diabetes; sympathetic activation of brown and white adipose tissues; adult neural plasticity; neurotrophic factors and neuropathy; CNS fuel utilization and energetics.  Dr. Townsend is currently funded by the American Diabetes Association, the Boston Nutrition and Obesity Research Center (BNORC), and the Boston Area Diabetes and Endocrinology Research Center (BADERC).  Dr. Townsend is also an Adjunct Faculty at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston.

Research

Selected Publications

Research articles

Zhang H, Guan M, Huang TL., Townsend KL, An D, Schulz T, Winnay J, Mori M, Goodyear LJ, Tsang J, Tseng YH. MicroRNA Determines Brown Fat Differentiation and Thermogenic Function.  (2015)  EMBO Reports.

Xue R, Lynes MD, Dreyfuss J, Shamsi F, Schulz TJ, Zhang H, Huang TL, Townsend KL, Li Y, Takahashi H, Weiner LS, White AP, Lynes MS, Rubin LL, Goodyear LJ, Cypess AM, Tseng Y-H. Clonal Analysis and Gene Profiling Identify Genetic Biomarkers of the Thermogenic Potential of Human Brown and White Preadipocytes. (2015) Nature Medicine 21(7), 760-8. PMID: 26076036

Stanford KI, Middelbeek RJW, Townsend KL, Lee M-Y, Takahashi H, So Kawai, Hitchcox KM, Markan KR, Hellbach K, Hirshman MF, Tseng Y-H, Goodyear LJ.  A Novel Role for Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue in Exercise-Induced Improvements in Glucose Homeostasis. Diabetes. 64(6), 2002-14.  PMID 25605808.

Schulz TJ, Huang P, Huang TL, McDougall LE, Townsend KL, Cypess AM, Mishina Y, Gussini E, Y.-H.Tseng.  Impaired Development of Constitutive Brown Adipocytes Due to Loss of BMP Signaling Induces Compensatory Browning of White Adipose Tissue.  (2013) Nature Mar 21; 495(7441): 379-83.  PMID: 23485971 

Stanford KI, Middelbeek RJW, Townsend KL, An D, Hitchcox KM, Markan KR, Nakano K, Nygaard EB, Jung DY, Lee Y, Kim JK, Hirshman MF, Tseng YH, and Goodyear LJ. Brown Adipose Tissue Regulates Glucose Homeostasis and Insulin Sensitivity.  (2013) J Clin Invest. Jan 2; 123(1):215-23. PMID: 23221344 

Liew CW, Boucher J, Cheong JK, Vernochet C, Koh HJ, Mallol C, Townsend K, Langin D, Kawamori D, Hu J, Tseng Y-H, Hellerstein MK, Farmer SR, Goodyear L, Doria A, Bluher M, Hsu SIH, Kulkarni RN.  Ablation of TRIP-Br2, a novel regulator of fat lipolysis, thermogenesis and oxidative metabolism, prevents diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance. (2013) Nat Med. Feb;19(2):217-26.  PMID: 23291629 

Townsend KL, An D, Lynes MD, Huang TL, Goodyear LJ, and Tseng YH.  Increased Mitochondrial Activity in BMP7-treated Brown Adipocytes, Due to Increased CPT1- and CD36-mediated Fatty Acid Uptake.  (2012) Antioxidants & Redox Signaling. 19(3), 243-57. PMID: 22938691

Townsend KL*, Suzuki R*, Huang TL, Jing E, Schulz T, Lee K, Taniguchi CM, Espinoza DO, McDougall LE, He TC, Kokkotou E, and Tseng YH. Bone Morphogenetic Protein 7 (BMP7) Reverses Obesity and Regulates Appetite Through a Central mTOR Pathway. (2012). FASEB J, 26(5): 2187-96. (* co-first authors) PMCID: PMC3336788

Schulz TJ, Huang TL, Tran TT, Zhang H, Townsend KL, Shadrach JL, Cerletti M, McDougall L, Giorgadze N, Tchkonia T, Schrier D, Falb D, Kirkland JL, Wagers AJ, and Tseng YH. Identification of Inducible Brown Adipocyte Progenitors Residing in Skeletal Muscle and White Fat. (2011). Proc Natl Acad Sci U.S.A., 108(1): 143-8. PMCID: PMC3017184

Townsend KL, Kunz TH, and Widmaier EP. Changes in body mass, serum leptin, and mRNA levels of leptin receptor isoforms during the premigratory period in Myotis lucifugus. (2008) J Comp Physiol [B]. 178(2): 217-23. PMID: 17962952

Townsend KL, Lorenzi MM, and Widmaier EP. High-fat diet-induced changes in body mass and hypothalamic gene expression in wild-type and leptin-deficient mice. (2008) Endocrine, 33(2):176-88. PMID: 18483882

Schulz LC, Townsend KL, Kunz TH, and Widmaier EP. Inhibition of Myotis lucifugus trophoblast invasiveness in vitro by immunoneutralization of leptin. (2007) General and Comp Endo, 150(1): 59-65.  PMID: 16938297

Zhao J, Townsend KL, Schulz LC, Kunz TH, Li C, and Widmaier EP. Leptin receptor expression increases in placenta, but not hypothalamus, during gestation in Mus musculus and Myotis lucifigus. (2004) Placenta, 25: (8-9). PMID: 15450389
 

Other Scholarly Activity

Reviews and Chapters

Townsend KL and YH Tseng. (2015). Of Mice and Men: Novel Insights Regarding Constitutive and Recuitable Brown Adipocytes. Invited Review for International Journal of Obesity Supplements 5.  S15-20.

 

Townsend KL and YH Tseng. (2014). Brown Fat Fuel Utilization and Thermogenesis.  Invited Review for Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism 25(4):168-177. *chosen by editorial board as Top 10 Favorite Articles of 2014.

 

Townsend KL and YH Tseng. (2012). Brown Adipose Tissue: Recent Insights into Development, Metabolic Function, and Therapeutic Potential. Invited Review for inaugural issue of the new journal Adipocyte, 2012 Jan 1(1) 13-24.

Research Topics

Kristy Townsend

,

Ph.D.

Adjunct Professor in the Center for Excellence in the Neurosciences

Off Campus

kristy.townsend@maine.edu

On Campus