As an assistant professor at the Diabetes Center of the University of California, San Francisco, Kajimura aims to engineer fat cells that fight obesity and metabolic diseases. His lab focuses on “beige” fat—which can be converted from white fat cells to burn excess energy, instead of storing it.
In the profile, he described his upbringing in Tokyo and how—as the first member of his family to attend a university—he was guided to a science career through influential mentors.
In addition to recognition as a Pew biomedical scholar, Kajimura was selected for the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2013. Like many early career researchers, he is concerned with striking a balance between applying for funding and conducting research.
“One of my mentors always said that if the science goes well, everything else will follow. So I try to spend as much energy as I can on the science and not worry about other things,” he said.
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