C. Yi MD PhD


C. Yi MD PhD

Assistant Professor
Main activities
Education, Research
Neuron-glia interactions in metabolic diseases
Focus of research

Our major research goal is to dissect the hypothalamic neuron-glia interactions in regulation of energy homeostasis in animal models and human, at levels of intercellular signaling and organelles functionality. Not until recently, we gained knowledge that the mechanism under the development of metabolic diseases is beyond canonical concept that brain metabolic sensing and regulation is dominated by the role of neurons. The microenvironment in which neurons live is supported and maintained by other cells. In this microenvironment, the innate immune microglial cells function as the immune homeostatic keeper, by clearance of cell debris and invading pathogens through phagocytosis, and initiating immune response. Our recent studies in obese/prediabetic animal models showed that microglial immunometabolism- and hormones- regulated phagocytosis play a key role in maintaining healthy microenvironment for neural survival and neural circuits development. In postmortem brain tissue of type 2 diabetic individuals, we discovered variety of changes in microglia in different brain regions, such as the suprachiasmatic nucleus that controls biological rhythm in physiology and behavior, and in infundibular nucleus that controls food intake and energy expenditure.  

Our main projects:

  • Determine in rodents the impact of a hypercaloric environment on hypothalamic microglial function.
  • Study in rodents the impact of microglial-derived factors on neuronal function.  
  • Translational studies on neuron-glial interactions in the human hypothalamus. 

Our long-term goal is to search for targets in microglia and neurons in hypothalamus that can rescue neuronal dysfunction in hypercaloric environment and treat obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Key publications
  • Hogenboom Rick, Kalsbeek Martin J, Korpel Nikita L, de Goede Paul, Koenen Marit, Buijs Ruud M, Romijn Johannes A, Swaab Dick F, Kalsbeek Andries, Yi Chun-Xia Loss of arginine vasopressin- and vasoactive intestinal polypeptide-containing neurons and glial cells in the suprachiasmatic nucleus of individuals with type 2 diabetes Diabetologia 2019;62 (11):2088-2093 [PubMed]
  • Gao Yuanqing, Vidal-Itriago Andrés, Kalsbeek Martin J., Layritz Clarita, García-Cáceres Cristina, Tom Robby Zachariah, Eichmann Thomas O., Vaz Frédéric M., Houtkooper Riekelt H., van der Wel Nicole, Verhoeven Arthur J., Yan Jie, Kalsbeek Andries, Eckel Robert H., Hofmann Susanna M., Yi Chun-Xia Lipoprotein Lipase Maintains Microglial Innate Immunity in Obesity Cell reports 2017;20 (13):3034-3042 [PubMed]
  • Yi Chun-Xia, Walter Marc, Gao Yuanqing, Pitra Soledad, Legutko Beata, Kälin Stefanie, Layritz Clarita, García-Cáceres Cristina, Bielohuby Maximilian, Bidlingmaier Martin, Woods Stephen C., Ghanem Alexander, Conzelmann Karl-Klaus, Stern Javier E., Jastroch Martin, Tschöp Matthias H. TNF alpha drives mitochondrial stress in POMC neurons in obesity Nature communications 2017;8:15143 [PubMed]
  • Kälin Stefanie, Heppner Frank L., Bechmann Ingo, Prinz Marco, Tschöp Matthias H., Yi Chun-Xia Hypothalamic innate immune reaction in obesity Nature reviews. Endocrinology 2015;11 (6):339-351 [PubMed]
  • Gao Yuanqing, Ottaway Nickki, Schriever Sonja C., Legutko Beata, García-Cáceres Cristina, de la Fuente Esther, Mergen Clarita, Bour Susanne, Thaler Joshua P., Seeley Randy J., Filosa Jessica, Stern Javier E., Perez-Tilve Diego, Schwartz Michael W., Tschöp Matthias H., Yi Chun-Xia Hormones and Diet, but Not Body Weight, Control Hypothalamic Microglial Activity Glia 2014;62 (1):17-25 [PubMed]
All Publications
Curriculum Vitae
Research experience
04/2015 - present   Assistant professor, research group leader, Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Academic Medical Center (AMC), Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
01/2012 - 03/2015 Research group leader, Division of Neurophysiology, Institute for Diabetes and Obesity, Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen, German Research Center for Environmental Health, Munich, Germany
09/2011 - 12/2012 Visiting scientist, Children's Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA.
03/2010 - 12/2011 Postdoctoral fellow, Metabolic Disease Institute, Div. of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Dept. of Medicine, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati OH, USA.
11/2005 - 03/2010 PhD student, Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
AMC PhD Scholarship (to F.C. da Silva). Amsterdam University Medical Center (UMC). €216,000. 03/2020-03-2024. PI.
Doorbraakprojecten. ZonMw/Diabetes Fonds Nederland. €100,000. 10/2018-10/2019. PI.
Dutch Diabetes Senior Fellowship. Diabetes Fonds Nederland (2015.82.1826). €325,000. 01/2016-12/2019. PI.
NeuroTime. European Commission. €129,900. 10/2016-09/2019. Co-PI.
Amsterdam Neuroscience Alliance project - NII 2017 (V.000301). Amsterdam Neuroscience. €100,000. The Netherlands. 01/2017-12/2018. Co-PI.
AMC fellowship. Academic Medical Center (AMC), Amsterdam. €700,000. 04/2015- 04/2020. PI.
Rubicon grant. Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). €45,300. 03/2010-03/2012. Postdoc fellow.
Members of the Doctorate Committee
Yan Su, 2016, Universiteit van Amsterdam.
Charlene Diepenbroek, 2017, Universiteit van Amsterdam.
Zhi Zhang, 2017, Universiteit van Amsterdam.
Anneloes Opperhuizen, 2018, Universiteit van Amsterdam.
Merel Rijnsburger, 2018, Universiteit van Amsterdam.
Evangelina Belegri, 2018, Universiteit van Amsterdam.
Satish Sen, 2018, Universiteit van Amsterdam and Université de Strasbourg.
Editorial activities
Associate Editors of “Molecular Metabolism” (2012-2018).
Editorial Board of “Frontiers in Systems and Translational Endocrinology” &
Associated editorial Board of “Cellular Endocrinology section of Frontiers in Endocrinology”
Ad hoc reviewer: Nature Metabolism, Nature Communicationss, Cell Reports, Diabetes, Diabetologia, Molecular Metabolism, Journal of Molecular Cell Biology, Metabolism, European Journal of Endocrinology, Obesity Facts, Frontiers in Systems and Translational Endocrinology, Brain and Behavior.
BKO (Basiskwalificatie Onderwijs, University Teaching Qualification) certificated since 2018.
Helena graduate school PhD course, Sep-Oct, 2013. Munich Germany.
Technische Universität München, Else Kröner-Fresenius Center for Nutritional Medicine. “Recent Topics Module”, master study course “Nutrition and Biomedicine”. 2013. Munich Germany.
Master course Basic & Applied Neuroscience, UvA, 2015. Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
6th master course ‘Endocrinology’, UvA, 2015. Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
7th master course ‘Endocrinology’, UvA, 2016. Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
8th master course ‘Endocrinology’, UvA, 2017. Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
9th master course ‘Endocrinology’, UvA, 2018. Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Organizing conferences
Organizing committee member “Dutch Neuroscience Meeting”.
Proposed and chaired sessions: “Hypothalamic neuron-glial mal-interactions in metabolic disorders: new players and novel therapy approaches” June 2016. Dutch Neuroscience Meeting, Lunteren, The Netherlands.
Proposed and chaired sessions: “Molecular mechanism of hypothalamic control of energy homeostasis” June 2017. Dutch Neuroscience Meeting, Lunteren, The Netherlands.
Proposed and chaired sessions: “Hypothalamic control of energy homeostasis: cellular heterogeneity and species differences” June 2018. Dutch Neuroscience Meeting, Lunteren, The Netherlands.
Proposed and chaired sessions: “New views on hypothalamic neuro-endocrine networks and functionality” June 2019, Dutch Neuroscience Meeting, Lunteren, The Netherlands.
Research programmes

C. Yi MD PhD (Dysregulation of hypothalamic neural-microglial network in obesity and diabetes)

Y. Gao PhD
S. Guo

PhD Students
M.J.T. Kalsbeek
X.L. Wang MSc

N.L. Korpel BA

Current research funding
  • AMC
  • AMC (Vrijgesteld)
  • Amsterdam University College, UvA
  • Crediteurenadm. VUmc, p/a Profource Service Center
  • Diabetes Fonds Nederland
  • Stichting AMC Foundation (Vrijgesteld)