Dr. Brandon Kayser joined the Department of Medicine in the Division of Geriatrics and Nutritional Sciences as an Instructor on June 30, 2019.
Dr. Kayser completed his Ph.D. in 2014 in Integrative and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Southern California. Using both longitudinal human cohorts and preclinical models, he investigated the role of obesity during different periods of development on inflammation and diabetes risk. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship from 2014-2017 at La Pitié-Salêtrière Hospital (INSERM) in Paris, France, in order to train in the analysis of high-throughput data. There he employed lipidomics to investigate the link between phospholipid metabolism and metabolic health. In this work, he discovered that phosphatidylglycerols are associated with inflammation and gut dysbiosis, that they are induced by bacterial products in the blood, and that these lipids can regulate adipose tissue remodeling in obesity. This work demonstrates that specific phospholipid classes may be important targets in metabolic dysfunction.
In 2017, he joined Dr. Samuel Klein’s laboratory as a T32 Postdoctoral scholar in the Center for Human Nutrition, Washington University School of Medicine, where he is applying state-of-the-art untargeted metabolomics to well-controlled human nutrition interventions. Ongoing studies are elucidating the molecular basis for metabolic improvements after weight loss. Specifically, 1) different bariatric surgeries have distinct effects on bile acid metabolism and microbiota-derived metabolites, 2) altered adipose tissue and liver metabolism are key components of improved whole-body insulin sensitivity, and 3) weight loss combined with a plant-based diet results in substantial shifts in the microbiome and its metabolome concomitant with metabolic improvements of the host.
Metabolomics and other high-throughput technologies will be central to the future of nutrition science. Dr. Kayser will be addressing the need of the Center for Human Nutrition to incorporate metabolomics and advanced data analysis into the rigorous physiological studies that are the foundation of the center. As an independent investigator, his research program will emphasize team science that fosters strong collaboration between physiologists and data scientists in order to deepen our understanding and ultimately aid in the treatment of metabolic diseases.