Link (Chen), Jenny (2011-2014)


Jenny is in the Molecular Biology IDP.  She joined the Training Program in 2011.  Her research mentor is Dr. Karen Reue.  She received a B.A. degree in 2009 from UC Berkeley.  

Mentor: Dr. Karen Reue

Research project:


In mammals, sex hormones play a large role in the accumulation and distribution of fat. Our research shows that the sex chromosome complement (XX and XY) is also a determinant of adiposity. Using a unique mouse model in which gonadal sex (testes vs. ovaries) is determined independently from the sex chromosome complement, we found that XX mice have twice as much fat as XY mice, regardless of gonadal sex. My project is focused on the molecular mechanisms underlying this sex difference. We hypothesize that a few genes that escape X-chromosome inactivation, and thus are expressed at higher levels in XX mice, may have a profound effect on fat accumulation. This research will deepen our understanding of factors that contribute to obesity and shed new light on the effects of X chromosome genes on lipid metabolism.