Erin Kershaw, MD

  • Chief of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism
  • Endowed Chair of Obesity and Diabetes Research
  • Associate Professor, Medicine

Education & Training

  • Medical School – Weill Cornell Medical College – MD
  • Internship – New York Presbyterian Hospital – Internal Medicine
  • Residency – New York Presbyterian Hospital – Internal Medicine
  • Fellowship – Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center & Joslin Diabetes Center - Endocrinology

Research Grants

NIH Grants:  R01, R03, K08

Research Summary

Dr. Kershaw has broad experience in the field of endocrinology and metabolism including over 25 years of experience specifically devoted to clinical and scientific efforts to understand obesity, diabetes, and their complications. Clinically, her academic expertise focuses on cardiometabolic diseases with an emphasis on lipid and adipose tissue disorders (disorders of fat). She is board certified in

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism
  • Obesity Medicine
  • Clinical Lipidology.

Dr. Kershaw’s translational research program complements her clinical expertise by focusing on the mechanisms by which lipids (fat) influence normal metabolism and disease. Her early work contributed to the identification and characterization the Adipose Triglyceride Lipase (ATGL), the rate-limiting enzyme mediating the breakdown of fat (lipolysis). This discovery completely transformed the field’s understanding of intracellular lipid metabolism and its contribution to normal physiology and disease. Another major focus of Dr. Kershaw’s laboratory is to identify and characterize novel proteins and pathways that contribute to obesity and metabolic disease. These efforts fall into two main areas:

  • characterizing novel adipocyte-secreted factors (adipokines) and their relationship to metabolic disease in humans 
  • characterizing novel genes/loci linked to obesity and metabolic disease in humans.

Her laboratory uses a combination of molecular, cellular, physiological, and translational approaches. The ultimate goal is to develop more effective strategies for prevention and treatment of obesity and associated metabolic disorders. Dr. Kershaw has successfully competed for research funding from several sources including the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the American Diabetes Association, and the National Institutes of Health. She has contributed to the scientific and academic development of several trainees ranging from undergraduate students to T32/K-level trainees, many of whom have subsequently secured independent tenure-track research positions, academic positions, and/or positions in pharmaceutical companies. She has also held several research training leadership positions including serving as

  • Associate Program Director for Research for the Clinical Endocrinology Fellowship Program
  • a member of the Training and Oversight Committee for the T32 Research Training Program in Endocrinology
  • a member of the steering committee for the Physician Scientist Training Program (PSTP) at the University of Pittsburgh. Here educational mission is to train the next generation of physicians and scientists in the field of metabolism.

Representative Publications

  1. Kershaw EE, Hamm JK, Verhagen LAW, Peroni O, Katic M, Flier JS. Adipose triglyceride lipase: function, regulation by insulin, and comparison with adiponutrin. Diabetes. 2006Jan; 55(1):148-57. PMID: 16380488. [PMCID: PMC2819178].
  2. Haemmerle G, Moustafa T, Woelkart G, Kotzbeck P, Büttner S, Schmidt A, van de Weijer T, Hesselink M, Kienesberger P, Zierler K, Schreiber R, Eichmann T, Kolb D, Schweiger M, Kumari M, Eder S, Schoiswohl G, Wonsiriroj N, Jäger D, Pollak N, Preiss-Landl K, Kolbe T, Rülicke T, Pieske B, Trauner M, Lass A, Zimmermann R, Hoefler G, Cinti S, Kershaw EE, Schrauwen P, Madeo F, Mayer B, and Zechner R. ATGL-mediated fat catabolism regulates cardiac mitochondrial function via PPARα and PGC-1α. Nat Med. 2011 Aug 21; 17(9):1076-85. doi: 10.1038/nm.2439. PMID: 21857651. [PMCID: PMC3244833].
  3. Sitnick MT*, Basantani MK*, Cai L*, Schoiswohl G, Yazbeck CF, Distefano G, Ritov V, Delany JP, Schreiber R, Stolz DB, Gardner NP, Kienesberger PC, Pulinilkunnil T, Zechner R, Goodpaster BH, Coen P, and Kershaw EE. Skeletal muscle triacylglycerol hydrolysis does not influence metabolic complications of obesity. Diabetes. 2013 Oct; 62(10):3350-61. doi: 10.2337/db13-0500. Epub 2013 Jul 8. PMID: 23825334. [PMCID: PMC3781480]. *Authors contributed equally to this work. Note: Cover
  4. Dube JJ, Sitnick MT, Schoiswohl G, Wills R, Basantani BK, Cai L, and Kershaw EE. Adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) deletion from adipocytes, but not skeletal myocytes, impairs acute exercise performance in mice. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2015 May 15; 308(10): E879-90. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00530.2014. Epub 2015 Mar 17. PMID: 25783895. [PMCID: PMC4436997].
  5. Schoiswohl G, Stefanovic-Racic M, Menke MN, Wills RC, Surlow BA, Basantani MK, Sitnick MT, Cai L, Yazbeck CF, Stolz DB, Pulinilkunnil T, O’Doherty RM, Kershaw EE. Impact of reduced adipocyte lipolysis on obesity-associated inflammation and insulin resistance in male mice. Endocrinology. 2015 Oct; 156(10):3610-24. doi: 10.1210/en.2015-1322. Epub 2015 Jul 21. PMID: 26196542. [PMCID: PMC4588821].
  6. Minster RL, Hawley NL, Su CT, Sun G, Kershaw EE, Chen H, Buhule OD, Lin J, Reupena MS, Viali S, Naseri T, Urban Z, Deka R, Weeks DE, McGarvey ST. A thrifty variant in CREBRF strongly influences body mass index in Samoans. Nat Genet. 2016 Sep; 48(9):1049-54. doi: 10.1038/ng.3620. Epub 2016 Jul 25. PMID: 27455349. [PMCID: PMC5069069].