+91-80-22932659 / 22932548

Sona Rajakumari

Assistant Professor


Our research program focuses on the regulation of fat tissue development, function, and energy homeostasis. Adipose tissue is categorized into white adipose tissue (WAT) and brown adipose tissue (BAT). White fat expands massively during obesity and aging with lipid overload. Conversely, brown fat, a distinct tissue, dissipates energy in the form of heat through uncoupled respiration. Increasing the activity of brown fat is considered an attractive therapeutic strategy to help reduce obesity and associated metabolic disease(s). Specifically, the conversion of white to brown fat phenotype (brown-like/beige cells) is correlated with protection against metabolic disease. As reported, Early B cell factor 2 (EBF2) is a key transcription factor in brown fat development. However, the mechanisms by which transcription factors regulate brown fat size, functionality and maintenance of pre-adipose stem cells under various metabolic conditions remain elusive. Therefore, we seek to identify key molecules or metabolites and genetic pathways that control adiposity and associated complications in mammals.

The following are our major research focus:

1. Transcriptional and epigenetic regulation of brown and beige adipocytes.

2. Elucidate the lipid signaling and RNA processing pathways that control the specializations of white and brown fat development and function.

3. Uncover the molecular connection between age induced adiposity and metabolic complications.


We employ various approaches, including molecular genetics combined with biochemistry, molecular biology, and metabolomics, to address our specific questions in energy homeostasis and metabolic disease. Also, we explore conditional and tissue-specific knockout murine model(s) and metabolic pathways to dissect the spatiotemporal gene regulation and contribution of brown adipose tissue for a healthy phenotype. Specifically, we are interested in small molecules that enhance mitochondrial functions.

Selected Publications

  • Rajakumari S, Srivastava S. (2021) Aging and β3-adrenergic stimulation alter mitochondrial lipidome of adipose tissue. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Biol Lipids. 1866(7):158922.
  • Divakaran SJ, Srivastava S, Jahagirdar A, Rajendran R, Sukhdeo SV, Rajakumari S. (2020) Sesaminol induces brown and beige adipocyte formation through suppression of myogenic program. FASEB J. 34(5):6854-70.
  • Shapira SN, Lim HW, Rajakumari S, Sakers AP, Ishibashi J, Harms MJ, Won KJ, Seale P. (2017) EBF2 transcriptionally regulates brown adipogenesis via the histone reader DPF3 and the BAF chromatin remodeling complex. Genes Dev. 31(7):660-73.
  • Wang W, Kissig M, Rajakumari S, Huang L, Lim HW, Won KJ, Seale P. (2014) Ebf2 is a selective marker of brown and beige adipogenic precursor cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 111(40):14466-71.
  • Rajakumari S, Wu J, Ishibashi J, Lim HW, Giang AH, Won KJ, Reed RR, Seale P. (2013) EBF2 determines and maintains brown adipocyte identity. Cell Metab. 17(4):562-574.

All Publications









     RASHI JAIN       






       DARSHAN L