Jing Fan

Photo of Jing Fan
Assistant Professor (also the Morgridge Institute for Research and Department of Nutritional Sciences)
B.S., Peking University
Ph.D., Princeton University
Phone: (608) 316-4492
Email: jfan4@wisc.edu

Dynamical metabolic regulation, immunometabolism,
metabolic underpinnings of cell function

Our overarching research interest to understand the metabolic underpinnings of cell function and fate. The current focus of my lab is to address this in innate immune cells, particularly macrophages and neutrophil, which are highly dynamic cells with great functional plasticity. We also contribute to research related to metabolic regulation and metabolism-function connection in a variety of other biological context (e.g. cancer, cell differentiation) through collaborations. Specifically, we seek to understand, (1) How is cellular metabolism dynamically reprogrammed during functional transitions (e.g. immune cell activation)? (2) How does metabolism impact cell function and how does dysregulation in metabolism play a role in disease (e.g. inflammatory disorder)?

We integrate systems-level approaches with molecular studies to elucidate the metabolic underpinning of immune functions. We use multi-omics analyses (particularly metabolomics) to systematically characterize what metabolic alterations occur during a course of immune response, and to identify the key metabolic pathways whose significant rewiring is associated with specific functional states. We next apply stable isotopic tracing approaches to quantify how metabolic fluxes through these pathways change during immune response, and identify pivotal metabolic ‘regulation points’ (i.e. key reactions). We then perturb the key reactions genetically or biochemically to examine how the remodeling of these pathways impacts immune function. Finally, we investigate the molecular mechanisms that regulate the identified ‘regulation points’ and the molecular mechanisms by which metabolism influences immune functions.