Nov. 14  —  Nov. 15, 2019

Midwest Metabolism Meeting

The second Midwest Metabolism Meeting will highlight the latest advances in metabolism research and foster the growth of a collaborative network of scientists from the Midwest. The two-day meeting will kick off with a keynote address from Dr. Julie St.-Pierre from University of Ottawa, who will discuss advances in understanding cancer metastasis and therapeutic resistance using metabolomics. Sessions will delve into tumor metabolism; new advances in immunometabolism and impact on cancer and autoimmune disease; interactions between the metabolome and epigenetic regulation; and a panel discussion highlighting key clinical questions in metabolism. The meeting will feature a poster session, short presentations from trainees, and ample opportunity for networking and collaboration.

The meeting will be held Nov. 14–15. Registration costs $50 for non-students and $25 for students and postdoctoral fellows.

To be added to our scientific event email list, please click here.

Registration is now closed.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

10:45 a.m.

Arrivals and meeting check-in

Session 1 – Keynote Lecture
Session chair: Russell Jones, Ph.D. – Van Andel Institute

11:00 a.m.

Opening remarks – Russell Jones, Ph.D.

11:05 a.m.

Keynote Lecture
Julie St-Pierre, Ph.D.
Professor, University of Ottawa
Exploiting metabolic vulnerabilities in breast cancer

12:05 p.m.

Abstract selected flash talks

  • Kimberly Huggler – Morgridge Institute for Research & University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Erika Dahl – Penn State College of Medicine
  • Kelly Leon – Penn State College of Medicine
  • Raquel Buj, Ph.D. – Penn State College of Medicine
  • Chi-Wei Chen, Ph.D. – Penn State College of Medicine
  • Ruohan Wu – Nationwide Children’s Hospital
  • Sankalp Srivastava – Indiana University School of Medicine
  • Elizabeth Lieu – University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Christopher Hallbrook, Ph.D. – University of Michigan
  • Peter Kim – University of Michigan

12:30 p.m.


Session 2 – Cancer metabolism
Session chair: Katherine Aird, Ph.D. – Penn State College of Medicine

1:30 p.m.

Sophia Lunt, Ph.D.
Lunt Lab – Michigan State University
Breast cancer heterogeneity and metabolism           

1:50 p.m.

Katie Martin, Ph.D.
MacKeigan Lab – Michigan State University
Therapeutic targeting autophagy in cancer

2:10 p.m.

Daniel R. Wahl, M.D., Ph.D.
Wahl Lab – University of Michigan
Targeting abnormal metabolisms to overcome therapy resistance in aggressive brain tumors

2:30 p.m.

Alexander Muir, Ph.D.
Muir Lab – University of Chicago
What is there to eat around here?: Nutrient availability in the microenvironment of solid tumors    

2:50 p.m.


Session 3 – Metabolism and cellular homeostasis
Session chair: Costas Lyssiotis, Ph.D. – University of Michigan

3:20 p.m.

Katherine Aird, Ph.D.
Aird Lab – Penn State College of Medicine
Nucleotide metabolism as a metabolic vulnerability of p16-null cancers   

3:40 p.m.

Maria Mihaylova, Ph.D.
Mihaylova Lab – The Ohio State University College of Medicine
Understanding the effects of age and diet-dependent nutrient changes on mammalian gut homeostasis

4:00 p.m.

Jie Jiang, Ph.D.
Zhang Lab – Indiana University
Regulation of nutrient dependency in blood cancers 

4:20 p.m.

Nefertiti Muhammad
Kim Lab – University of Illinois at Chicago
Targeting mannose metabolism in lung cancer

4:30 p.m.

Abstract selected flash talks

  • Katherine Kistler – University of Michigan
  • Zeribe Nwosu, Ph.D. – University of Michigan
  • Jordan Cockfield – University of Notre Dame
  • Yanting Luo – University of Notre Dame
  • Louise Medina Bengtsso – University of Notre Dame
  • Shao Thing Teoh, Ph.D. – Michigan State University
  • Ilaria Panzeri, Ph.D. – Van Andel Institute
  • Xiaotian Zhang, Ph.D. – Van Andel Institute

Clinical Panel Discussion
Moderator: Russell Jones, Ph.D. – Van Andel Institute

5:00 p.m.

Stacie Adams, M.D., FACMG, FAAP
Biochemical Genetics Clinic – Spectrum Health and Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital
Metabolomics in a rare disease clinic

5:50 p.m.


6:00 p.m.

Poster Session & networking reception

8:00 p.m.

Poster session & networking reception conclude

Friday, November 15, 2019

8:00 a.m.


Session 4 – Metabolic heterogeneity
Session chair: Zach Schafer, Ph.D. – University of Notre Dame

9:00 a.m.

Jason Cantor, Ph.D.
Cantor Lab – Morgridge Institute for Research; University of Wisconsin-Madison; UW-Madison Carbone Cancer Center
Use of physiologic media to explore genetic liabilities in cancer

9:20 a.m.

Daniel Silver
Lathia Lab –Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic
Consumption of a high-fat diet inhibits the tumor suppressive activity of hydrogen sulfide, driving cancer stem cell enrichment and disease aggression in glioblastoma

9:40 a.m.

James Schofield
Schafer Lab – University of Notre Dame
Defective mitophagy sensitizes cancer cells to antioxidant inhibition

10:00 a.m.

Nader Mahmoudzadeh
Tennessen Lab – Indiana University
When an oncometabolite isn’t an oncometabolite: endogenous L-2-hydroxyglutarate production is common among Dipteran larvae

10:20 a.m.


Session 5 – Immunometabolism
Session chair: Connie Krawczyk, Ph.D. – Van Andel Institute

10:50 a.m.

Jing Fan, Ph.D.
Fan Lab – Morgridge Institute for Research
Metabolic reprogramming in macrophages

11:10 a.m.

Josephin N. Rashida Gnanaprakasam
Wang Lab – Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Metabolic reprogramming of effector T cells to promote anti-tumor immunity under glucose restricted tumor microenvironment                       

11:30 a.m.

Hannah Guak
Krawczyk Lab – Van Andel Institute
Metabolic regulation of dendritic cells in health and disease

11:50 a.m.

Hanna Hong
Lyssiotis Lab – University of Michigan
Oxidative metabolism promotes apoptotic resistance in Th17 cells

12:10 p.m.


Session 6 – Environment-metabolism interactions
Session chair: Ning Wu, Ph.D. – Van Andel Institute

1:00 p.m.

Adelheid (Heidi) Lempradl, Ph.D.
Lempradl Lab – Van Andel Institute
piRNAs in intergenerational metabolic reprograming

1:20 p.m.

Bo-hyun Choi, Ph.D.
Coloff Lab – Illinois Cancer Center, University of Illinois at Chicago
Epigenetic silencing of PSAT1 sensitizes luminal breast cancer cells to serine and glycine deprivation

1:40 p.m.

Ning Wu, Ph.D.
Wu Lab – Van Andel Institute
Glucose and mitochondria

2:00 p.m.

Brian Haab, Ph.D.
Haab Lab – Van Andel Institute
Detection of a low-glycolytic subtype of pancreatic cancer using a secreted glycan

2:20 p.m.


Session 7 – Systems-level metabolism
Session chair: Heidi Lempradl, Ph.D. – Van Andel Institute

2:50 p.m.

Anoumid Vaziri
Dus Lab – University of Michigan
The Polycomb Repressive Complex integrates nutrient information to persistently reprogram sweet taste and neural activity

3:10 p.m.

Sean Murphy, M.S.
Lu Lab – University of Notre Dame
A case for keto: Utilizing a cyclical ketogenic diet to treat triple knockout prostate cancer

3:30 p.m.

Abhinav Achreja, Ph.D.
Nagrath Lab – University of Michigan
Identification of collaterally lethal metabolic targets in cancer for precision medicine

3:50 p.m.

Chih-Hsiang Yang
Pospisilik Lab – Van Andel Institute
A novel bi-stable metabolic polyphenism merging gigantism and hyperinsulinemia

4:10 p.m.

Monika Bambouskova, Ph.D.
Artyomov Lab – Washington University in St. Louis
Electrophilic properties of itaconate and derivatives regulate the IκBζ-ATF3 inflammatory axis

4:30 p.m.

Closing remarks – Russell Jones, Ph.D.


Dr. Julie St-Pierre

Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, University of Ottawa
Director uOttawa Metabolomics Core Facility

Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Cancer Metabolism
B. Sc. (Université Laval, Canada. 1995)
M.Sc. (Université Laval, Canada. 1997)
Ph.D. (University of Cambridge, UK. 2001)
Postdoctoral Fellow (MRC Dunn Human Nutrition Unit, Cambridge University, UK. 2001)
Postdoctoral Fellow (Harvard Medical School, USA. 2005)
Postdoctoral Fellow (IRIC, Université de Montréal, Canada. 2008)
Assistant and Associate Professor (McGill University, Canada. 2008-2017)
Director Metabolomics Core Facility (McGill University, Canada. 2009-2017)

Talk title: Exploiting metabolic vulnerabilities in breast cancer

Research Interests:

The central research focus of the St-Pierre laboratory is the understanding of metabolic adaptation to physiological and pathological conditions. They are particularly interested in the plasticity of mitochondrial functions and how they contribute to overall energy homeostasis. During the last decade, the St-Pierre team contributed significantly to understanding the role of the master regulators PGC-1s in cancer, with a particular focus on poor outcome breast cancers. They showed that PGC-1alpha plays a key role in setting the metabolic state of poor outcome breast cancers and that it promotes breast cancer growth. Recently, they focused their investigation of the role of PGC-1s in breast cancer progression and they are pursuing research projects on metabolic adaptations fueling metastasis and therapeutic resistance. The St-Pierre laboratory is enriched by numerous national/international collaborations that complement their own expertise in metabolism.

As experimental approaches, they use a combination of real-time bioenergetics measurements and metabolomics methodologies to determine the steady state of central metabolites as well as their fate through the metabolic network. These metabolic measurements are coupled with transcription profiling to uncover regulatory nodes orchestrating metabolic changes in cancer.


Abstracts should be submitted during the registration process, which will open in June.

Students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty and research staff are welcome to submit an abstract. If the number of submitted poster abstracts exceeds the display space, the organizers will select the abstracts that are most relevant to the conference theme.

Abstract selected talks
A limited number of individuals will be invited to give a short talk during the symposium based on their abstract submission. If you would like to be considered for selection, you must submit your abstract by Sept. 25, 2019. Please indicate during registration whether you would like your poster abstract considered for a talk.

Abstract format
Submitted abstracts should represent original research. The title should be brief and descriptive, and the body should include rationale, methods and results. Please prepare abstracts using the below template.

Abstract submission
Poster abstracts should be submitted during the registration process.

Additional details
Posters should be no larger than 60” wide x 40” high. Further details about poster setup and takedown will be provided closer to the event.

Questions regarding abstract submission, posters, or the poster session can be directed to Beth Resau at


Presenting Author1,2, Other Author1, and Last Author1,3(Style = Authors)

1First Dept., Institution, City, State, Country, 2Second Dept., Institution, City, State, Country, and 3Last Dept., Institution, City, State, Country (Style = Affiliations)

Body of abstract using 300 words or less. Define each abbreviation at first use. All fonts should be Arial, 11 pt. and text should be single-spaced. Once you have filled in this template, choose File>Save As and save your file as a Word document (.doc or .docx) with the filename lastname_abstract. (Style = Body)



Andrew Pospisilik1,2 and Russell Jones1

1Metabolic and Nutritional Programming group, Center for Cancer and Cell Biology, Van Andel Institute, Grand Rapids, MI, United States, 2Center for Epigenetics, Van Andel Institute, Grand Rapids, MI, United States

Cancer is essentially a disease in which cells have lost their normal checks on cell proliferation. Cancer cells also have evolved to evade elimination by the immune system, the body’s defense mechanism against foreign invaders. Recent studies suggest…


Russell Jones, Ph.D.

Program Lead, Metabolic and Nutritional Programming, Center for Cancer and Cell Biology, Van Andel Institute

Dr. Russell Jones is a leading expert in the study of cancer metabolism and immunology. As professor and program lead of the Metabolic and Nutritional Programming group at Van Andel Institute, his work seeks to uncover how cancer cells fuel themselves through metabolic interactions, with the ultimate goal of developing new cancer therapeutics.

He earned his B.Sc. with honors in Biochemistry and his Ph.D. in Medical Biophysics from the University of Toronto, where he studied in the lab of Dr. Pamela S. Ohashi. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship in the lab of Dr. Craig B. Thompson at University of Pennsylvania in 2008, he accepted a position as an assistant professor in the Department of Physiology and Goodman Cancer Research Centre at McGill University. He was subsequently promoted to associate professor in 2014 and, in 2017, also took on the role of director of the Metabolomics Core Facility at Goodman Cancer Research Centre. He joined Van Andel Research Institute’s Center for Cancer and Cell Biology in 2018 as program lead and a founding member of its Metabolic and Nutritional Programming group. Dr. Jones has earned numerous accolades throughout his career, including a New Investigator Award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Bernard and Francine Dorval Prize from the Canadian Cancer Society, and several teaching awards at McGill University. He was named a William Dawson Scholar in 2014 and elected to the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada in 2015. He also serves as a reviewer for a number of journals, including Cell Metabolism, Immunity, Nature, Nature Immunology and Science.

J. Andrew Pospisilik, Ph.D.

Director, Center for Epigenetics; Professor, Metabolic and Nutritional Programming, Center for Cancer and Cell Biology, Van Andel Institute

Dr. J. Andrew Pospisilik is a leading expert in the study of how the epigenome regulates complex trait variation as well as disease susceptibility and heterogeneity. He earned his B.Sc. with honors and his Ph.D. in Physiology from University of British Columbia, where his work focused on type 1 and 2 diabetes. Later, as a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Dr. Josef M. Penninger at IMBA Institute of Molecular Biotechnology, Dr. Pospisilik performed the first genome-wide RNAi-screen for obesity in Drosophila, identifying some of the first specific developmental regulators of brown adipose tissue formation, and overturned dogma showing that compromised mitochondrial function actually buffers against diabetes. In 2010, he established his laboratory at Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics in Freiburg, Germany, where his team made groundbreaking advances, including development of novel sensitized models for understanding epigenetic stability and variation in metabolic disease; the first formal proof for the existence of polyphenism in mammals (including suggestions in humans) and the first mapping of a genetic architecture for mammalian phenotypic buffering. In 2018, Dr. Pospisilik joined Van Andel Institute as a director of its Center for Epigenetics and a founding member of its Metabolic and Nutritional Programming group. He is the recipient of numerous awards and accolades, including the 2016 Novo Nordisk Helmholtz Young Investigator Award, the 2015 GSK Award for Basic Medical Research, the 2013 EASD Rising Star Award and the 2011 RISE1 Award from the Epigenesys Network of Excellence. He also is a member of the World Economic Forum faculty.

Brian Haab, Ph.D.

Professor, Metabolic and Nutritional Programming, Center for Cancer and Cell Biology
Assistant Dean, Van Andel Institute Graduate School

Dr. Haab obtained his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 1998. He then served as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Patrick Brown in the Department of Biochemistry at Stanford University. Dr. Haab joined VAI as a Special Program Investigator in May 2000, became a Scientific Investigator in 2004, and was promoted to Senior Scientific Investigator in 2007. He also serves as an assistant dean of Van Andel Institute Graduate School and as an adjunct professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the Genetics Program at Michigan State University.

Connie Krawczyk, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Metabolic and Nutritional Programming, Center for Cancer and Cell Biology

Connie Krawczyk, Ph.D., is an associate professor at Van Andel Institute and a leader in investigating the links between metabolism, epigenetics and the immune system, with the goal of understanding how they work together in health and disease.

She earned her B.S. with honors in molecular biology and genetics from University of Guelph followed by her Ph.D. in cell and molecular biology from University of Toronto. She then completed postdoctoral fellowships in the labs of Dr. Hao Shen and Dr. Edward Pearce at University of Pennsylvania before taking a position as a senior research biologist at Merck Frosst. In 2011, Dr. Krawczyk was recruited to McGill University as an assistant professor, where her work focused on the molecular mechanisms regulating immune function and the immune system’s role in cancer development. She joined VAI as an associate professor in 2018 as part of its new Metabolic and Nutritional Programming group. She is an active member of several professional societies, including the Society for Leucocyte Biology, the immunoTherapy NeTwork (iTNT) and the Canadian Society for Immunology, and has served as a reviewer for the journals Cell ReportsCell MetabolismEMBO ReportsImmunity and Nature Scientific Reports, among others.

Adelheid Lempradl, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Metabolic and Nutritional Programming, Center for Cancer and Cell Biology

Dr. Adelheid Lempradl is an assistant professor in Van Andel Institute’s Metabolic and Nutritional Programming group, where she investigates how the parental metabolic state is transmitted through generations. She earned her diploma and her Ph.D. from University of Vienna, where she used fluorescent probes to study the structure and folding of lipid membranes and RNAs. She continued her RNA work as a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Dr. Leonie Ringrose at University of Austria, followed by a fellowship in the lab of Dr. Asifa Akhtar at Max Planck Institute of Immunology and Epigenetics in Freiburg, Germany. Most recently, she was a fellow in the lab of Dr. J. Andrew Pospisilik, also at Max Planck. Her research was the first to demonstrate that acute paternal diet of Drosophila can reprogram offspring metabolism. This work also identified the first epigenetic signature of obesity that is conserved across species, which established the value of Drosophila as a model for intergenerational inheritance. She was the recipient of the 2002 DOC-fFORTE Ph.D. Fellowship from the Austrian Academy of Sciences, was nominated for the Helmholtz Young Investigator Diabetes (HelDi) Award in 2018, and has given invited talks at numerous meetings and symposia, including the keynote address at the SETAC/iEOS Joint Topic Meeting on Environmental and (Eco) Toxicological Omics and Epigenetics.

Ning Wu, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Metabolic and Nutritional Programming, Center for Cancer and Cell Biology

Dr. Ning Wu received her Ph.D. in the Department of Biochemistry from the University of Toronto in 2002. She then served as a research associate at The Scripps Research Institute in the Department of Chemistry. In 2004, Dr. Wu joined the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, as a research fellow where the primary lab focus was to understand the signaling pathways that regulate normal mammalian cell growth and the defects that cause cell transformation. Dr. Wu joined Van Andel Institute in 2013 as an assistant professor in the Center for Cancer and Cell Biology.

Hosts an average of 100 scientists from across the Midwest. Contact at Beth Resau at

When is the Midwest Metabolism Meeting? How much does it cost?
The Midwest Metabolism Meeting will take place Nov. 14–15. Registration opens in May and closes Oct. 31, and will cost $25 for students and postdoctoral fellows and $50 for non-students.

The symposium will be held at Van Andel Institute, 333 Bostwick Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Can I register a group?
Yes! We are happy to offer a 20 percent discount per registration to groups of ten attendees or more. The registration form allows one person to register and pay for a group. For group registration, please contact Beth Resau at

Will walk-in registrations be accepted?
Unfortunately, walk-in registrations will not be accepted. All attendees must register online by Oct. 31, 2019.

What if I have dietary restrictions?
Please indicate any dietary restrictions during registration.

What if I need handicapped parking or other accommodations?
Please contact Beth Resau at to discuss any special accommodations.

How do I become a sponsor?
Please contact Beth Resau at for more information on sponsorship opportunities.

What is the refund policy?
Refund requests must be made in writing to the Midwest Metabolism Meeting by Oct. 31, 2019. After Oct. 31, refund requests will not be honored. If you are not able to attend, a substitute may attend in your place. The name and email address of the substitute must be emailed to prior to Oct. 31, 2019. If you do not attend the program and do not submit a written refund request, the Midwest Metabolism Meeting will retain all registration fees. Email all cancellation requests/substitutions/ registration questions to Beth Resau at Refund requests will be addressed within five business days. In the event the Midwest Metabolism Meeting is cancelled, full refunds will be given to all registrants.

Where do I park?

Complimentary parking is available at the Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) Lyon and Bostwick Parking Ramps. Please note that the GRCC lots are first-come, first-served and typically reach capacity by 8:00 a.m. See the symposium registration desk for parking validation tickets.

  1. The GRCC Lyon Parking Ramp is located one block south of Van Andel Institute on Bostwick Ave. NE.
  2. The GRCC Bostwick Parking Ramp is located at the corner of Fountain St. NE and Ransom Ave. NE.  From Division Ave., turn east onto Fountain St. NE (this is a one-way street going east up the hill). Continue two blocks east of Division Ave. The GRCC Bostwick Parking Ramp will be on the left (if you cross Ransom Ave. NE, you’ve gone too far).

Visiting Grand Rapids

Planning your trip to the Midwest Metabolism Meeting? Be sure to check out all that Grand Rapids has to offer!

No stranger to top 10 lists, Grand Rapids was named as one of the best places to visit by the New York Times in 2016, by Groupon in 2015 and by Lonely Planet in 2014. It was also named Best Beer Town by USA Today. The city is a thriving hub of art and culture, boasting numerous museums and theaters, and is home to a host of restaurants, brew pubs, and bistros that have something for everyone.

Learn more at

Lodging options near Van Andel Institute (VAI):

Midwest Metabolism Meeting Room Blocks – Discounted Rate

Hyatt Place Grand Rapids Downtown (0.5 miles from VAI)
140 Ottawa Avenue NW
Grand Rapids, MI, 49503
PH: 1.616.984.1200
Booking link here
Room block dates available: Nov. 13-15, 2019
Midwest Metabolism Meeting Rate: $169 + tax (parking is $32 per day)
Last day to book: Oct.14, 2019

Embassy Suites by Hilton Grand Rapids Downtown (0.8 miles from VAI)
710 Monroe Avenue NW
Grand Rapids, MI, 49503
PH: 1.616.512.5700
Midwest Metabolism Meeting Rate: $151.20+tax
Booking link here
Group Name: Mid Michigan Metabolism
Room block dates available: Nov. 14, 2019
Last day to book: Oct. 15, 2019

Other Lodging Options

Homewood Suites (0.4 miles from VAI)
161 Ottawa Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
PH: 1.616.451.2300
(from $249 per night)

Amway Grand Plaza Hotel (0.46 miles from VAI)
187 Monroe Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
PH: 1.800.253.3590
(from $279 per night)

CityFlatsHotel (0.5 miles from VAI)
83 Monroe Center Northwest
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
PH: 1.616.451.1892
(from $350 per night)

JW Marriott (0.6 miles from VAI)
235 Louis Street Northwest
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
PH: 1.616.242.1500
(from $309 per night)

Courtyard by Marriott Downtown (0.7 miles from VAI)
11 Monroe Avenue
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
PH: 1.616.242.6000
(from $269 per night)

Hampton Inn & Suites (0.7 miles from VAI)
433 Dudley Pl. NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
PH: 1.616.456.2000
(from $179 per night)

Holiday Inn Downtown (0.8 miles from VAI)
310 Pearl Street Northwest
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
PH: 1.616.235.7611
(from $193 per night)

Grand River Hotel (2.6 miles from VAI)
270 Ann Street Northwest
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
PH: 1.855.344.6835
(from $136 per night)

Map of Grand Rapids area hotel listings

Air travel

The Gerald R. Ford International Airport is only 13 miles from Van Andel Institute’s downtown Grand Rapids location. Learn more about flight options and keep up to date on flight times by visiting

Supporting sponsors