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Faculty Detail    
Campus Address KAUL 602A Zip 0024
Phone  (205) 934-7206
Other websites

Undergraduate  Hendrix College      Chemistry 
Graduate  Baylor College of Medicine    1993  PhD Cell Biology 

Faculty Appointment(s)
Appointment Type Department Division Rank
Center  Civitan International Research Center  Civitan International Research Center Professor
Center  Comp Arthritis, MSK, Bone & Autoimmunity Ctr  Comp Arthritis, MSK, Bone & Autoimmunity Ctr Professor
Center  Comprehensive Cancer Center  Comprehensive Cancer Center Professor
Center  Comprehensive Diabetes Center  Comprehensive Diabetes Center Professor
Center  Cystic Fibrosis Research Center  Cystic Fibrosis Research Center Professor
Primary  Genetics   Genetics Research Div Professor
Center  Nutrition Sciences   Nutrition Obesity Res Ctr (NORC) Professor
Secondary  Nutrition Sciences   Nutrition Sciences Chair Office Assistant Professor

Graduate Biomedical Sciences Affiliations
Cancer Biology 
Cell, Molecular, & Developmental Biology 
Genetics, Genomics and Bioinformatics 
Integrative Genetics Graduate Program 
Neuroscience Graduate Program 

Biographical Sketch 
Dr. Robert A. Kesterson, completed his undergraduate studies in Chemistry at Hendrix College, and received a Ph.D. in Cell Biology from Baylor College of Medicine (1993) under the mentorship of Dr. J. Wesley Pike and Dr. Francesco DeMayo. His postdoctoral training in the field of neuroendocrinology was carried out at The Vollum Institute for Advanced Biomedical Research, Portland, Oregon with Dr. Roger D. Cone, which focused on determining the function of newly cloned melanocortin receptors via development of transgenic animal models. Dr. Kesterson was appointed in 1997 to the faculty of Vanderbilt University in the Department of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics, and was then recruited to UAB in 2004. Dr. Kesterson is the Director of the UAB Transgenic & Genetically Engineered Models (TGEMS) Facility, and is a member of several UAB Centers including: Comprehensive Cancer Center, Arthritis & Musculoskeletal Center, Nutrition & Obesity Research Center, Hepatorenal Fibrocystic Disease Core Center, Civitan International Research Center, Diabetes Research & Training Center, and Center for Metabolic Bone Disease.

Society Memberships
Organization Name Position Held Org Link
American Diabetes Association 
Endocrine Society 
North American Association for the Study of Obesity 

Research/Clinical Interest
Modeling Patient Specific Disease Mutations In Animals
The Kesterson laboratory uses genetically modified cell lines (iPSCs) and animal models to study numerous physiological and behavioral processes with recent focus on 1) humanized models of Neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1) and developing therapeutic interventions, 2) mechanisms by which primary cilium localized on hypothalamic neurons regulate energy balance, and 3) novel mouse models with mitochondrial and nuclear genomes exchanged between inbred strains of mice (i.e. MNX mice) with differing susceptibilities to disease. As part of his work as director of the TGEMs facility, Dr. Kesterson has created >150 knock-in/knock-out mouse models using ES cells, and worked with numerous investigators to create mouse, rat, and zebrafish models using recent CRISPR/Cas9 nuclease-based technologies. Graduate Biomedical Science Themes: # Cancer Biology # Cell, Molecular and Developmental Biology # Genetics and Genomic Sciences # Neuroscience

Selected Publications 
Publication PUBMEDID
Kesterson, R.A., Huszar, D., Simerly, R.B., and Cone, R.D. Induction of Neuropeptide Y Gene Expression in the Dorsal Medial Hypothalamic Nucleus in Two Models of the Agouti Obesity Syndrome (1997) Molecular Endocrinology 11:630-637   9139806  
Fan, W., Boston,B.A., Kesterson, R.A., Hruby, V.J., and Cone, R.D. Melanocortinergic Inhibition of Feeding Behavior and Disruption with an Agouti-mimetic (1997) Nature 385:165-168  8990120 
Huszar, D., Lynch, C.A., Fairchild-Huntress, V., Dunmore, J.H., Smith, F.J., Kesterson, R.A., Boston, B.A., Fang, Q., Berkemeier, L.R., Gu, W., Cone, R.D., Campfield, L.A., Lee, F. Recapitulation of the Agouti Obesity Syndrome in Mice Lacking the Melanocortin-4 Receptor (1997) Cell 88:131-141  9019399 
Ni, X, Kesterson, R.A., Hruby, V.J., Cone, R.D., Wiedemann, E., and Humphreys, M.H. Prevention of Natriuresis After Acute Unilateral Nephrectomy (AUN) by a Melanocortin 3 Receptor (MC3-R) Antagonist (1998) American Journal of Physiology 274: R931-R938  9575953 
Clemens, T.L., Tang, H., Maeda, S., Kesterson, R.A., Demayo, F., Pike, J.W., Gundberg, C.M. Analysis of osteocalcin expression in transgenic mice reveals a species difference in vitamin D regulation of mouse and human osteocalcin genes (1997) Bone Miner Res:1570-1576  9333117 
*Miyamoto, K., *Kesterson R.A., Yamamoto, H., Taketani, Y., Nishiwaki, E., Tatsumi, S., Inoue, Y., Morita, K., Takeda, E., Pike, J.W. Structural organization of the human vitamin D receptor chromosomal gene and its promoter (1997) Molecular Endocrinology:1165-1179 *Co-first author  9212063 
Li, Si-Jia, Varga, K., Archer, P., Hruby, V.J., Sharma, S.D., Kesterson, R.A., Cone, R.D., and Kunos, G. Melanocortin Antagonists Define Two Distinct Pathways of Cardiovascular Control by a- and g-Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormones (1996) Journal of Neuroscience 16:5182-5188  8756446 
Cone, R.D., Lu, D.L., Chen, W., Koppula, S., Inge Vage, D., Klungland, H., Boston, B., Orth, D.N., Pouton, C., and Kesterson, R.A. The Melanocortin Receptors: Agonists, Antagonists, and the Hormonal Control of Pigmentation (1996) Recent Progress in Hormone Research 51:287-318  8701084 
Kesterson, R.A., DeMayo, F., Stanley, L., Finegold, M.J., and Pike, J.W. Vitamin D Regulation of Human Osteocalcin Gene Expression in Transgenic Mice (1993) Molecular Endocrinology 7:462-467  8483481 
Friedman, D.L., Kesterson, R.A., Puleo, P., Wu, A.H.B., and Perryman, M.B. Recombinant Creatine Kinase Proteins as Standards for Creatine Kinase Isoenzyme and Subform Assays (1993) Clinical Chemistry 39:1598-1601  8353943 
Hruby, V.J.., Lu, D.L, Sharma, S.D., Castrucci, A., Kesterson, R.A., Al-Obeidi, F.A., Hadley, M.E., and Cone, R.D. Cyclic Lactam a-Melanotropin Analogues of Ac-Nle4-cyclo[Asp5, D-Phe7,Lys10] a-Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormone-(4-10)-NH2 with Bulky Aromatic Amino Acids at Position 7 Show High Antagonist Potency and Selectivity at Specific Melanocortin Receptors (1995) Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 38:3454-3461  7658432 
Stenzel, P., Kesterson, R.A., Yeung, W., Cone, R.D., Rittenberg, M.B., and Stenzel-Poore, M.P. Identification of a Novel Murine Receptor for Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone Expressed in the Heart (1995)Molecular Endocrinology 9:637-645  7565810 
Liu, Z., Swindall, A.F., Bullard, D.C., Kesterson, R.A., Schoeb, T.R., and Bellis, S.L. ST6Gal-I regulates macrophage apoptosis via α2-6 sialylation of the TNFR1 death receptor. J Biol Chem. 2011 Sep 19.    
O'Connor AK, Kesterson RA, Yoder BK. Generating conditional mutants to analyze ciliary functions: the use of Cre-lox technology to disrupt cilia in specific organs. Methods Cell Biol. 2009;93:305-30. Epub 2009 Dec 4.  20409823 
Morabito MV, Abbas AI, Hood JL, Kesterson RA, Jacobs MM, Kump DS, Hachey DL, Roth BL, Emeson RB. Mice with altered serotonin 2C receptor RNA editing display characteristics of Prader-Willi syndrome. Neurobiol Dis. 2010 Aug;39(2):169-80. Epub 2010 Apr 13.  20394819 
Kesterson RA, Berbari NF, Pasek RC, Yoder BK. Utilization of conditional alleles to study the role of the primary cilium in obesity. Methods Cell Biol. 2009;94:163-79. Epub 2009 Dec 23. Review.  20362090 
Cope, M.B., Jumbo-Luciono, P., Allison, D.B., DiCostanzo, C.A., Jamison, W.G., Kesterson, R.A., and Nagy, T.R. Risperidone alters food intake, core body temperature and locomotor activity in mice. Physiol Behav 2009 Mar 2;96(3):457-63  19084548 
Kumar KG, Trevaskis JL, Lam DD, Sutton GM, Koza RA, Chouljenko VN, Kousoulas KG, Rogers PM, Kesterson RA, Thearle M, Ferrante AW Jr, Mynatt RL, Burris TP, Dong JZ, Halem HA, Culler MD, Heisler LK, Stephens JM, Butler AA. Identification of adropin as a secreted factor linking dietary macronutrient intake with energy homeostasis and lipid metabolism.
Cell Metab. 2008 Dec;8(6):468-81. 
Brooks WS, Helton ES, Banerjee S, Venable M, Johnson L, Schoeb TR, Kesterson RA, Crawford DF. G2E3 is a dual function ubiquitin ligase required for early embryonic development.
J Biol Chem. 2008 Aug 8;283(32):22304-15. Epub 2008 May 28. 
Zinn, K.R., Chaudhuri, T.R., Szafran, A.A., OQuinn, D., Weaver, C., Dugger, K., Lamar, D., Kesterson, R.A., Wang, X., and Stuart, F.J. Noninvasive bioluminescence imaging in small animals. ILAR J. 2008;49(1):103-15  18172337 
Chen M, Aprahamian CJ, Kesterson RA, Harmon CM, Yang Y.Molecular Identification of the Human Melanocortin-2 Receptor Responsible for Ligand Binding and Signaling. Biochemistry. 2007 Oct 9;46(40):11389-97. Epub 2007 Sep 18  17877367 
Davenport, JR, Watts, AJ, Roper VC, Croyle MJ, van Groen T, Wyss JM, Nagy TR, Kesterson RA, Yoder BK. Disruption of intraflagellar transport in adult mice leads to obesity and slow-onset cystic kidney disease. Curr Biol. 2007 Sep 18;17(18):1586-94.  17825558  
Yang, Y., Chen, M., Kesterson, R.A., and Harmon, C.M. Structural insights into the role of the ACTH receptor cysteine residues on receptor function, AJP 2007 293(3):R1120-6  17596328 
Singh, M., Kesterson, R.A., Joers, J.M, Jamison, W., Gore, J.C., and Emeson, R.B. Expression of the RNA editing enzyme ADAR2 leads to hyperphagia-mediated obesity in transgenic mice, JBC 2007 3;282(31):22448-59.  17567573 
Cope, M.B., Jumbo-Lucioni, P., Walton, R.G., Kesterson, R.A., Allison, D.B., and Nagy, T.R. No effect of dietary fat on short-term weight gain in mice treated with atypical antipsychotic drugs, Int J Obes (Lond). 2007 Jun;31(6):1014-22. Epub 2007 Jan 16.  17224931 
He, S, Schoeb, T.R., Panoskaltsis-Mortari, A., Zinn, K.R., Kesterson, R.A., Zhang, J., Samuel, S., Hicks, M.J., and Bullard, D.C. Deficiency of P-selectin or PSGL-1 Leads to Accelerated Development of Glomerulonephritis and Increased Expression of CCL2 in Lupus-Prone Mice (2006) J. Immunology 177(12):8748-56  17142777 
Jones, J.R., Barrick, C., Blondeau, B., Fujimoto, Y., Shiota, M., Kesterson, R.A., Kahn, B.B., and Magnuson. M.A. Deletion of PPARγ in adipose tissues of mice protects against high fat diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance. (2005) PNAS 102(17):6207-12  15833818  
Ercil, N.E., Galici, R., McDonald, M., and Kesterson, R.A. HS014, a selective melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) antagonist, enhances the behavioral effects of morphine. (2005) Psychopharmacology 180(2):279-85  15719225 
Lamar, C.R., Jamison, W., Brazda, A., Kesterson, R.A. Putative Targets of CNS Melanocortin Receptors (2003) Ann N Y Acad Sci. 994:211-7  12851318 
Sutcliffe, J.S., Han, M.K., Amin, T., Kesterson, R.A., Nurmi, E.L. Partial Duplication of the APBA2 Gene in Chromosome 15q13 Corresponds to Duplicon Structures (2003) BMC Genomics 4(1):15  12720574 
Butler, A.A., Kesterson, R.A., Khong, K., Cullen, M.J., Pelleymounter, M.A., Dekoning, J., Baetscher, M., Cone, R.D. A Unique Metabolic Syndrome Causes Obesity in the Melanocortin-3 Receptor-Deficient Mouse (2000) Endocrinology 141:3518-21  10965927 
*Coste, S.C., *Kesterson, R.A., Heldwein, K.A., Stevens, S.L., Hill, J.K., Heard, A.D., Murray, S.E., Pantely, G.A., Hohimer, A.R., Hatton, D.C., Phillips, T.J., Finn, D.A., Low, M.J., Rittenberg, M.B., Stenzel, P., Stenzel-Poore, M.P. Aberrant Appetite Control and Impaired Cardiovascular Function in Mice Lacking Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone Receptor-2 (2000) Nature Genetics 24:403-409 *Co-first author  10742107 
Ashley, J.W., Shi, Z., Zhao, H., Li, X., Kesterson, R.A., and Feng, X. Genetic Ablation of CD68 Results in Mice with Increased Bone and Dysfunctional Osteoclasts, PLoS ONE, 2011;6(10):e25838. Epub 2011 Oct 3   
Berbari, N.F., Kin, N.W., Sharma, N., Michaud, E.J., Kesterson, R.A., and Yoder, B.K. Mutations in Traf3ip1 reveal defects in ciliogenesis, embryonic development, and altered cell size regulation, Dev Biol. 2011 Sep 16   
Hughes, M., Malloy, P., Kieback, D., Kesterson, R.A., Pike, J.W., Feldman, D., and O'Malley, B.W. Point Mutations in the Human Vitamin D Receptor Gene Associated with Hypocalcemic Rickets (1988) Science 242:1702-1705  2849209 

obesity, diabetes, CNS, brain, hypothalamus, behavior, transgenic, mice, neuroscience, endocrinology, knockout, cancer, bone, NF1, CFTR