Timothy Osborne, Ph.D.

Timothy Osborne's Research Focus

Cardiovascular Diseases, Atherosclerosis, Metabolic Syndrome, Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, Aging-Related Diseases, Cancer, Heart Disease, Infectious Diseases, Pathogen Invasion, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Inherited Disorders, Metabolic Diseases, Diabetes - General, Monogenic Diabetes, Type 1 Diabetes

The Osborne laboratory's study into the regulation of cholesterol and fatty-acid metabolism and their interconnectedness has been expanded to determine how lipid metabolism is integrated into more global aspects of physiology and cell biology. A major focus of their work has been on the Sterol-Regulatory-Element-Binding Proteins (SREBPs) and over the last 15 years the lab has made and validated several molecular reagents and assay systems for studying SREBPs using in vitro, cell-culture-based and whole-animal model systems. More-recent studies combine animal knockout and genome-wide approaches that indicate SREBPs are at the intersection of nutrient sensing and many other cell-environment interactions including responses to organic and biological threats.

Timothy Osborne's Research Report

The focus of our research is on how fundamental processes of gene regulation are used in the control and management of metabolic homeostasis. Our primary studies are in mammalian lipid metabolism and the two main lipids in mammalian cells are fatty acids and sterols. In one major area, we study how dietary and metabolic fluctuations alter flux of acetyl-CoA into either cholesterol or fatty acids. A major decision point for this is at the gene expression level where changes in mRNA levels result in changes in the concentration of key enzymes in the two pathways to alter acetyl-CoA flux accordingly. We are using molecular genetic and biochemical techniques to evaluate how the Sterol Regulatory Element Binding Proteins (SREBPs) sense the need to shift the flux in response to changing metabolic conditions.

Timothy Osborne's Bio

Timothy Osborne, Ph.D., received his doctorate in Microbiology/Molecular Biology from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and conducted postdoctoral research in the lab of Nobel Prize winners, Brown and Goldstein at the University of Texas at Southwestern Medical School. Dr. Osborne was most recently chair of the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at University of California Irvine. He received UCI’s Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Research, was elected to Who’s Who in American University Professors, was recognized as an Established Investigator of the American Heart Association and is a recipient of a Lucille P. Markey Scholar Award in Biomedical Science.


Ph.D., University of California Los Angeles
A.B., University of California Santa Barbara

IM Program


Jeon TI, Esquejo RM, Roqueta-Rivera M, Phelan PE, Moon YA, Govindarajan SS, Esau CC, Osborne TF
Cell Metab 2013 Jul 2;18(1):51-61
Seo YK, Jeon TI, Chong HK, Biesinger J, Xie X, Osborne TF
Cell Metab 2011 Apr 6;13(4):367-375
Vergnes L, Chin RG, de Aguiar Vallim T, Fong LG, Osborne TF, Young SG, Reue K
J Lipid Res 2016 Mar;57(3):410-21
Smith K, Karimian Azari E, LaMoia TE, Hussain T, Vargova V, Karolyi K, Veldhuis PP, Arnoletti JP, de la Fuente SG, Pratley RE, Osborne TF, Kyriazis GA
Mol Metab 2018 Aug 27;
Abe Y, Fujiwara Y, Takahashi H, Matsumura Y, Sawada T, Jiang S, Nakaki R, Uchida A, Nagao N, Naito M, Kajimura S, Kimura H, Osborne TF, Aburatani H, Kodama T, Inagaki T, Sakai J
Nat Commun 2018 Apr 19;9(1):1566
Esquejo RM, Salatto CT, Delmore J, Albuquerque B, Reyes A, Shi Y, Moccia R, Cokorinos E, Peloquin M, Monetti M, Barricklow J, Bollinger E, Smith BK, Day EA, Nguyen C, Geoghegan KF, Kreeger JM, Opsahl A, Ward J, Kalgutkar AS, Tess D, Butler L, Shirai N, Osborne TF, Steinberg GR, Birnbaum MJ, Cameron KO, Miller RA
EBioMedicine 2018 May;31:122-132