Our long-term research interest is to understand the immune orchestration of energy homeostasis, and to develop novel therapeutic strategies against obesity and metabolic syndrome. Although inflammation in metabolic tissues has emerged as a universal feature of many chronic metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia, and cardiovascular diseases, the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which the immune system controls tissue and systemic metabolism remain poorly understood. Our pioneering work has revealed a second efferent circuit consisting of alternatively activated macrophages that controls adrenergic signaling and adaptive thermogenesis in white and brown fat during cold stress (Nature 2011). We have further demonstrated an unexpected role for type 2 immunity and macrophages in the biogenesis of beige fat in response to cold exposure. These findings provide a fundamental advance in the field because they have elucidated the first set of signals required for development of cold-induced beige fat (Cell 2014). Collectively, our findings challenge the established dogma that the neuroendocrine system mediates all adaptations to environmental cold or diet.
By employing mouse model system and taking a combination of molecular, cellular, genetic, metabolic and immunological approaches, our lab explores the functions and hierarchical organization of different immune cells in principal metabolic tissues such as fat, liver and pancreas. And we strive to understand their unifying cellular and molecular mechanisms.
Current research projects: 1) Investigate the functions of type 2 immunity in adaptive thermogenesis; 2) Investigate the mechanisms by which type 2 cytokines stimulate the growth of brown and beige fat; and 3) Screen and explore the unifying cellular and molecular basis of immune regulation of fat metabolism.
Lab members:
PI: Yifu Qiu, Ph.D. E-mail: yifu.qiu(AT)pku.edu.cn
Staff: Dongmei Wu, Ph.D. E-mail: qiulab(AT)163.com
Graduate students: Liqing Chi, Chunyan Zhang, Xiao Xiao
Guest students: Xin Li, Kaili Xue, Jingfei Yao 
Address: Rm. 221, Wang Kezhen Building, Peking University