Keynote Address / Ernst Knobil Distinguished Lectureship

Introduction by:
Mikhail Kolonin, Ph.D.

Philipp Scherer, Ph.D.
Professor and Director of the Touchstone Diabetes Center
UT Southwestern Medical Center
“The Adipocyte: Power of the underdog in metabolism” 

10:50 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.
Brown Foundation Institute for Molecular Medicine
1825 Pressler, Houston, Texas 77030
Beth Robertson Auditorium
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Philipp Scherer is Professor and Director of the Touchstone Diabetes Center at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. He received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Basel, Switzerland, with Jeff Schatz, followed by post-doctoral training at the Whitehead Institute at MIT in Cambridge with Harvey Lodish. In 1997, he joined the faculty of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine where he was a Professor of Cell Biology and Medicine. Throughout his career, he has maintained an interest in processes related to cellular and systemic energy homeostasis. During his Ph.D., he identified several components of the mitochondrial protein import machinery. While a post-doc, he identified adiponectin, one of the first secretory factors to be described that almost exclusively originates in adipose tissue and which is currently widely studied by many different research groups.

Current efforts in his laboratory are focused on the identification and physiological characterization of novel proteins that serve as potential links between the adipocyte, liver, the pancreatic beta cell and the processes of whole-body energy homeostasis, inflammation, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. His research team aims to identify novel targets for pharmacological intervention and to further define the role of adipose tissue as an endocrine organ.

Scherer has been on the faculty of UT Southwestern Medical Center since 2007 as a member of the Departments of Internal Medicine and Cell Biology. He holds the Gifford O. Touchstone Jr. and Randolph G. Touchstone Distinguished Chair in Diabetes Research and is a member of the Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center. He was awarded the 2015 Banting Medal for Scientific Achievement from the American Diabetes Association (the highest-ranked diabetes prize in the world), the 2017 European Association for the Study of Diabetes Novo Nordisk Foundation Diabetes Prize for Excellence (the highest honor for a diabetes researcher in Europe), the 2018 Manpei Suzuki International Prize for Diabetes Research (the highest honor in diabetes research in Japan), the 2019 Basic and Translational Science Award from the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the 2022 Society for Endocrinology Transatlantic Medal (United Kingdom).

Dr. Scherer has published more than 500 papers in the areas of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity/cancer has been cited more than 66,000 times, and has an h-factor (Thompson-Reuters) of 124. He is amongst the 100 most highly cited researchers in biomedical research from 2009-2021 according to Thompson-Reuters.

Dr. Scherer has trained more than 50 Ph.D., MD-Ph.D., and post-doctoral scientists in the area of metabolism and nutrition, many of which now hold faculty positions in academia. He has been an integral part of multiple Training Grants at UT Southwestern Medical Center, and he serves as the PI for the Endocrine and Metabolism Training Grant at UTSW. See He is currently also serving on Council for NIDDK.