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Keren I. Hilgendorf

Keren I. Hilgendorf, PhD

Languages spoken: English

Academic Information

Departments Primary - Biochemistry

Academic Office Information

Keren Hilgendorf, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Utah. She is also a member of the Cell Response and Regulation Program at Huntsman Cancer Institute.

Dr. Hilgendorf received a bachelor's degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She received her postdoctoral training at Stanford University School of Medicine and was a Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow.

Research Statement

<p>The Hilgendorf Lab studies the molecular mechanisms regulating adult stems cell expansion and differentiation to ensure proper tissue homeostasis, expansion, and regeneration. A major focus of the lab is to study the molecular mechanisms regulating fat tissue. We use a combination of animal models and cell culture techniques. We are particularly interested in how the primary cilium, an antenna-like signaling organelle, senses and organizes signal transduction pathways to regulate stem cell fate. </p>

Education History

Fellowship Stanford University
Postdoctoral Fellow
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Undergraduate University of Texas at Austin

Selected Publications

Journal Article

  1. Porpiglia E, Mai T, Kraft P, Holbrook CA, de Morree A, Gonzalez VD, Hilgendorf KI, Frsard L, Trejo A, Bhimaraju S, Jackson PK, Fantl WJ, Blau HM (2022). Elevated CD47 is a hallmark of dysfunctional aged muscle stem cells that can be targeted to augment regeneration. Cell Stem Cell, 29(12), 1653-1668.e8.
  2. Hilgendorf KI, Johnson CT, Mezger A, Rice SL, Norris AM, Demeter J, Greenleaf WJ, Reiter JF, Kopinke D, Jackson PK (2019). Omega-3 Fatty Acids Activate Ciliary FFAR4 to Control Adipogenesis. Cell, 179(6), 1289-1305.e21.
  3. Maynard MA, Ferretti R, Hilgendorf KI, Perret C, Whyte P, Lees JA (2013). Bmi1 is required for tumorigenesis in a mouse model of intestinal cancer. Oncogene, 33(28), 3742-7.
  4. Hilgendorf KI, Leshchiner ES, Nedelcu S, Maynard MA, Calo E, Ianari A, Walensky LD, Lees JA (2013). The retinoblastoma protein induces apoptosis directly at the mitochondria. Genes Dev, 27(9), 1003-15.


  1. Scamfer SR, Lee MD, Hilgendorf KI (2022). Ciliary control of adipocyte progenitor cell fate regulates energy storage. [Review]. Front Cell Dev Biol, 10, 1083372.
  2. Hilgendorf KI (2021). Primary Cilia Are Critical Regulators of White Adipose Tissue Expansion. [Review]. Front Physiol, 12, 769367.