CMHC Faculty Members

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Michael D. Jensen

Michael D. Jensen



Michael D. Jensen, M.D. holds the Tomas J. Watson, Jr. Professorship in Honor of Dr. Robert L. Frye at the Mayo College of Medicine, Rochester, MN where he is the Director of the Obesity Treatment Research Program. His clinical interests are primarily focused on obesity, diabetes and nutrition support. Dr. Jensen's research involves the study of obesity, body fat distribution, and fatty acid/energy metabolism, focusing specifically on the effects obesity and body-fat distribution on health. His studies were the first to show that an upper body fat distribution is associated with dysregulation of whole body lipolysis. Dr. Jensen's studies identified the relative contributions of different fat depots to lipid fuel metabolism, including the role of intra-abdominal/visceral fat. He also was the first to identify activation of non-exercise activity thermogenesis as the predominant mechanism for weight gain resistance during periods of overeating, as well as the first to show that adults can make new adipocytes. His research identified a new pathway for redistribution of free fatty acids between adipose depots independent of the traditional triglyceride/lipoprotein lipase pathway. Dr. Jensen received a MERIT award from NIH to continue his studies in this area and has been funded for 28 consecutive years. He has served on NIH, professional foundation and Mayo scientific review panels and has contributed to professional associations both by committee work and in elected office. Dr. Jensen has published more than 240 original research articles, together with over 50 invited papers and book chapters. He has served on the editorial boards of Obesity Research, American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism, Diabetes, Obesity, and is currently senior associate editor of Diabetes. Dr. Jensen served as co-chair of the NHLBI Expert Panel on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults, 2008-2013.

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