Metabolism and Nutritional Programming

Overview

Department of Metabolism and Nutritional Programming

Every aspect of life is fueled by metabolism, a constant cascade of chemical reactions that ensure we have the energy to survive and thrive. But sometimes things go wrong, depriving our cells of the energy and resources required for healthy function.

Scientists in VAI’s Department of Metabolism and Nutritional Programming explore the intricate mechanics of cellular metabolism and their implications for health and in disease. Using cutting-edge techniques, they investigate metabolism’s interaction with other critical systems, such as the immune system, and are revealing how environmental exposures and metabolic dysfunction contribute to complex diseases such as diabetes, autoimmunity, cancer and neurodegeneration. They’re also parsing the ripple effect that nutrition may have through the generations, exploring how our diets could lay the epigenetic foundations for the health of our descendants.

By developing a detailed understanding of metabolism and how it is impacted by nutrition, genetics and epigenetics, VAI scientists aim to develop metabolism-based therapies and interventions with the ultimate goal of improving human health.

Metabolic and Nutritional Programming (MeNu) Program

Van Andel Institute’s Metabolic and Nutritional Programming (MeNu) Program is a collaborative effort to understand the impact of diet and nutrition on human health at the molecular level, with a focus on the relationship between nutrition and inflammation in chronic diseases. Learn more here.

Our Faculty

Russell Jones, Ph.D.

Chair and Professor, Department of Metabolism and Nutritional Programming

Cancer and Immunometabolism

Connie Krawczyk, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Metabolism and Nutritional Programming

Immunology, Epigenetics and Metabolism

Adelheid (Heidi) Lempradl, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Metabolism and Nutritional Programming

Intergenerational Inheritance of Nutritional States

Evan Lien, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Metabolism and Nutritional Programming

Diet, Metabolism and Cancer

Sara Nowinski, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Metabolism and Nutritional Programming

Mitochondria and Metabolism

Ning Wu, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Metabolism and Nutritional Programming

Signaling and Metabolism

Affiliate Faculty Members

Brian Haab, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Cell Biology; Assistant Dean, Van Andel Institute Graduate School

Cancer Immunodiagnostics

J. Andrew Pospisilik, Ph.D.

Chair and Professor, Department of Epigenetics

Epigenetic Origins of Heterogeneity and Disease

Tim Triche, Jr., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Epigenetics

Translational Biological Informatics

METABOLISM AND NUTRITIONAL PROGRAMMING STAFF

Kelsey Williams, Ph.D.

Research Program Manager, MeNu

Hyoungjoo Lee, Ph.D.

Director, MeNu Proteomics Platform

Michelle Minard, B.S.

Senior Administrative Assistant II, Department of Metabolism and Nutritional Programming

METABOLOMICS AND BIOENERGETICS CORE

Colt Capan, M.S.

Senior Research Technician, MeNu Proteomics Platform

Carlos Castello, B.A.

Metabolomics Specialist III, Metabolomics and Bioenergetics Core

Abigail Ellis, B.S.

Metabolomics Specialist II, Metabolomics and Bioenergenetics Core

Christine Isaguirre, B.S.

Metabolomics Specialist II, Metabolomics and Bioenergenetics Core

Hyoungjoo Lee, Ph.D.

Director, MeNu Proteomics Platform

Ryan Sheldon, Ph.D.

Core Director and Research Scientist, Metabolomics and Bioenergetics Core

Michael Vincent, Ph.D.

Bioinformatics Research Scientist, Metabolomics and Bioenergetics Core

Recent Publications

Our Impact

We're raising thousands to save millions

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  • 88 studies published from Jan. 1, 2022 to Sept. 21, 2022
  • 44 studies in high-impact journals from Jan. 1, 2022 to Sept. 21, 2022
  • 42 clinical trials launched
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