Paul Michael Yen, MD

Faculty Member, Duke Molecular Physiology Institute and Sarah W. Stedman Nutrition and Metabolism Center


Professor Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School. Professor of Medicine Duke University Medical Center


Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School

65 9067 3154

8 College Road, Level 8,
Singapore, 169857


Dr. Yen is a Professor at Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore and Head of the Laboratory of Hormonal Regulation in the Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disorders Program. He obtained his M.D. from Johns Hopkins, completed his residency in internal medicine at University of Chicago and his endocrinology fellowship at NIH. Prior to Duke-NUS he served on the faculty at Johns Hopkins, Harvard, and as section chief at NIDDK, NIH. He has served on the editorial boards of Endocrinology, Molecular Endocrinology, and Thyroid. His current research interests are hormonal regulation of hepatic autophagy and lipid metabolism in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease as well as epigenetic regulation of metabolic genes by thyroid hormone. 

BA Amherst College Amherst, MA, Chemistry
MD Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD

My laboratory uses molecular biological and genomic approaches to study hormonal regulation of transcription, particularly thyroid hormone (TH). We study whether epigenetic changes such as DNA methylation and histone modifications play a role in positive and negative regulation of transcription, endocrine tumors, long-term suppression of negative feedback by TH, and hormone-responsiveness during aging. Recently, we have shown that TH regulates Fox01 via SIRT deacetylation to regulate gluconeogenic genes, and we currently are studying this novel regulatory mechanism in greater detail. We also examine the potential beneficial effects and mechanisms of TH on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a common complication of obesity and diabetes.

My laboratory’s recent discovery that TH as well as other hormones and compounds such as caffeine and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) can induce autophagy coupled with increased b-oxidation of fatty acid has suggested novel potential therapeutic strategies for this condition. I also have initiated a clinical study examining whether levothyroxine can ameliorate hepatosteatosis and glucose control in diabetic Asian patients in patients with NAFLD. I have collaborated with Dr. Dwight Koeberl, Duke University for the past two years to examine the role of autophagy in the hepatosteatosis and hepatic glycogen storage in G6Pase deficiency. We have found that there is defective autophagy, impaired beta oxidation of fatty acids, and mitochondrial injury and dysfunction in G6Pase deficiency suggesting that correction of the autophagy defect can improve the major hepatic metabolic dysfunctions in this disease.

Current Lab Members

Andrea Lim, Research Assistant
Ronny, Research Fellow
Kenji Ohba, Research Fellow
Zhou Jin, PhD, Research Fellow
Sherwin Xie, Research Assistant
Dr Rohit Anthony Sinha, PhD, Senior Research Fellow
Brijesh Singh, Research Fellow

Current Trainees
Benjamin Farah, Graduate Student