Rongrong Fan

Assistant professor

About me

Lab page:


Research description

My research combines the phenotypic/clinical analysis with multi-OMICs approaches to understand the fundamental question of how over-nutritional signals alter chromatin remodelling to promote metabolic disease development.

We have so far analyzed different patient samples in the transcriptomic, cistromic and epigenomic levels and identified a group of interesting candidates involved in species-conserved and disease-relevant regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism. Of particular interest is the transcription factor coregulator GPS2, the dysregulation of which is associated with de-repressed inflammation and impaired lipid oxidation pathways, leading to type 2 diabetes and liver disease progression.

The ongoing research activity involves further investigation of the coregulator-based mechanisms in the genomic and epigenomic level in various disease contexts. Understanding such pathways is crucial for better deciphering disease mechanisms which is ultimately required for identifying novel targets with diagnostic and intervention potential. 


Teaching portfolio

  • 2021- : Main supervisor of 1 PhD student (Wu Jinghua, supported by KID funding)
  • 2020-2021: Supervisor of Erasmus studentship: Sonia Mecacci
  • 2020:  Pedagogy training: Course for doctoral supervisors
  • 2020:  Pedagogy training: Teaching and learning in higher education (GDPH)
  • 2020- : Co-supervisor of PhD student: Astradeni Efthymiadou
  • Co-supervisor of 2 PhD students: Zhiqiang Huang (2013-2018, main author of papers in FASEB J and Mol Cell), Ning Liang (2013-2019, main author of paper in Nat Com).
  • 2020: Lipid and Lipoprotein Metabolism: Basal Aspects and Clinical Significance. Karolinska Institute.
  • 2020: JRP VT-20. Karolinska Institute.
  • 2020: Molecular biological techniques. Karolinska Institute.
  • 2019: Master thesis evaluation (Klara Lenart). Karolinska Institute.
  • 2019: Genetics, Genomics and Functional Genomics. Karolinska Institute.
  • 2018: Master thesis evaluation (Ingibjörg Sigvaldadóttir). Karolinska Institute.
  • 2017: Methods in molecular biology and proteomics and their application in medical research. Karolinska Institute.
  • 2016: Applied communication in biomedicine 2. Karolinska Institute.
  • 2015: Applied communication in biomedicine 2. Karolinska Institute.
  • 2014: Applied communication in biomedicine 1. Karolinska Institute.


  • 2018 to now: Assistant professor at the Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institute, Fleminsberg.
  • 2012 to 2017: Postdoctoral Study at the Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institute, Fleminsberg.
  • 2012: PhD in Medical Sciences, Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, Prince of Wales Hospital, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Academic honours, awards and prizes

Research grants:

  • Cancerfonden
  • Swedish research council (Vetenskapsrådet)
  • NOVO NORDISK Foundation
  • KI Doctoral funding
  • Åke Wibergs Stiftelse
  • Diabetes Wellness Sverige Foundation
  • EFSD / Lilly research fellowship
  • KI foundation

Commission of trust:

  • Guest editor: Frontiers in Endocrinology 2020.
  • Steering Committee: lipoprotein research networks in KI south campus (supported by CIMED).
  • Invited reviewer in: Nature Communications, JBC, FASEB J, Diabetologia, Diabetes, obesity and metabolism, PLoS One, Journal of cellular and molecular medicine, etc.
  • Poster assesment committee: Epigenomics, nuclear receptor and diseases summer school. Spetses, 2019.
  • Poster assesment committee: 7th Endometrial SRP Diabetes Joint Retreat. Stockholm, 2017.
  • Poster assesment committee: Epigenomics, nuclear receptor and diseases summer school. Spetses, 2017.

Selected publications:

1) Huang, Z., Liang, N., Goni, S., Damdimopoulos, A., Wang, C., Ballaire, R., Jager, J., Niskanen, H., Jakobsson., Han, H., Bracken, A., Aouadi, M., Venteclef, N., Kaikkonen, M., Fan, RR#(co-corresponding author)., Treuter, E#. The corepressors GPS2 and SMRT control enhancer and silencer remodelling linked to eRNA transcription during inflammatory activation of macrophages. Molecular Cell 2021 (Featured article) DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.molcel.2020.12.040.

2) Kang, ZF., Fan, RR. PPARα and NCOR / SMRT corepressor network in liver metabolic regulation. FASEB J 2020. doi: 10.1096/fj.202000055RR.

3) Liang, N., Damdimopoulos, A., Goñi, S., Huang, ZQ., Vedin, L., Jakobsson, T., Giudici, M., Ahmed, O., Pedrelli, M., Barilla, S., Alzaid, F., Mendoza, A., Schröder, T., Kuiper, R., Parini, P., Hollenberg, A., Lefebvre, P., Francque, S., Gaal, LV., Staels, B., Venteclef, N., Treuter, E#., and Fan, RR#Hepatocyte-specific loss of GPS2 in mice reduces non-alcoholic steatohepatitis via activation of PPARα. Nature Communications 2019. 10:1684.

4) Huang, ZQ., Liang, N., Damdimopoulos, T., Fan, RR# (co-corresponding author) and Treuter, E#. G-protein pathway suppressor 2 links inflammation and cholesterol efflux by controlling lipopolysaccharide-induced ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 expression in macrophages. FASEB J (Cover story) 2018. doi: 10.1096/fj.201801123R.

5) Fan, R.R., Toubal, A., Goñi, S., Drareni, K., Huang, ZQ., Alzaid, F., Ballaire, R., Ancel,P., Liang, N., Damdimopoulos, A., Hainault, I., Soprani, A., Wisnewsky, JA., Foufelle, F., Lawrence, T., Gautier, JF., Venteclef, N & Treuter, E. Loss of the corepressor GPS2 sensitizes macrophage activation upon metabolic stress induced by obesity and type 2 diabetes. Nature Medicine 2016. doi:10.1038/nm.4114.



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