Targeting the Brown Fat – Personalized Strategies for Treatment of Metabolism. – PHRT


Targeting the Brown Fat – Personalized Strategies for Treatment of Metabolism.

Short Summary

The project aims to develop new strategies to quantify the presence of energy burning brown adipose tissue to develop tailor made therapies to induce this tissue and to prevent and treat obesity and its associated metabolic disorders.


The primary objective of this application is to generate a foundation for the development of personalized strategies to activate energy burning brown adipose tissue to improve metabolism. This goal will be achieved through leveraging existing cohorts of patients and volunteers, which will drive the development of three Swiss Platforms for the advancement of Personalized Medicine. Building on this infrastructure, the consortium will develop technologies, which allow the individual assessment of patients. Ultimately. we will utilize the use the generated data on human energy burning brown adipose tissue, to understand the differences between individuals and identify new strategies to induce energy burning and thus treat obesity.


The field of human brown adipose tissue research is still in its early days. However, it can be expected that induction of energy burning brown adipose tissue will open unique opportunities for personalized therapeutic approaches to reduce and prevent metabolic disorders including prevalent diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.


Health care costs are becoming an increasing burden for societies. The two most costly diseases are diabetes ($ 101 billion) and heart disease ($ 88 billion) The increase in diabetes has been substantial in the last 2 decades due the continuous rise of obesity in western countries. Personalized medicine is commonly associated with the field of oncology. However, it has already become clear that obesity and the associated diseases are very diverse, making them ideal targets for a personalized treatment approach. Thus, the response to modern drugs is significantly different among different ethnic groups. While the field is evolving rapidly, concepts to target metabolic disease on a personalized level are still uncommon.

Pers. Medicine / Health Research

Prof. Dr. Christian Wolfrum

ETH Z├╝rich


  • Nicola Zamboni
  • Bart Deplancke
  • Ender Konukoglu


In Progress

Funded by