Housed in the Department of Molecular Metabolism at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the Training Program in Molecular Metabolism (MMTP) enlists faculty from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Harvard Medical School to provide didactic and research opportunities to predoctoral students interested in a research career in molecular metabolism. The program prepares trainees to apply cutting edge multi-omic, genetic, and physiological methods to advance our understanding of areas including metabolic health and diseases such as diabetes; gastrointestinal health, such as the role of the microbiome; inflammatory and immune effects on health; obesity; and the role of factors such as aging or disease state on metabolic processes.
Students enrolled in the Ph.D. in Biological Sciences in Public Health (BPH) program will be considered for participation in MMTP. Information regarding the BPH Program can be found here: https://gsas.harvard.edu/programs-of-study/all/biological-sciences-public-health
Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry with a minor in Chinese and concentration in Public Health from Bates College (2018)
Alanis focuses on the lymph node tumor microenvironment investigating the role of iron as potential prognostic biomarker in breast cancer development.
She graduated Bates college in 2018 and went off to be a research technician at The University of Chicago from 2018-2022 in the lab of Dr. Ronald Cohen in the department of Endocrinology where she investigated the adipocyte microenvironment and its implication in diseases like obesity and diabetes.
Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from University of Massachusetts Amherst (2020)
Will aims to study the metabolic adaptations that occur in obese mice treated with Glucagon Like Protein 1 (Glp-1) receptor agonists using carbon-13 based stable isotope tracing.
After graduating from UMass Amherst in 2020, Will went on to work as a research assistant in Dr. David Guertin’s Lab at UMass Medical School, studying how brown fat activation changes its utilization of nutrients.
Zeqiu Branden Wang
Master of Science in Human Nutrition from Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons (2020)
Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from the University of Washington (2017)
Branden aims to understand the molecular mechanism of how obesity contributes to the development of metabolic disease by studying the crosstalk between adipose tissue and the liver. In the Hotamışlıgil Lab, he is currently interested in understanding the role of fatty acid-binding protein 4 (FABP4) pool that is in the signal containing extracellular vesicles derived from the adipose tissue (Ad-Exos). Elucidating the role of hormonal FABP4 within Ad-Exo and related mechanisms of the crosstalk between the adipose tissue and the liver may be a critical step for understanding, and eventually resolving obesity-induced metabolic disorders.
During his Master’s degree, Branden worked under Dr. Qiang’s mentorship at Columbia University. He received an honor thesis award for studying the myogenic determination protein 1 and myogenic factor 6 overexpression in mice models. Before relocating to the east coast, he received a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry from the University of Washington. In addition to his scientific activity, Branden has 300 hours + of volunteering experience in the hospital setting and wishes to continue serving the community by translating scientific findings to the public.
Sudha Biddinger, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Harvard Medical School
Boston Children’s Hospital
Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular Metabolism
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Focus on understanding how lipogenesis is triggered in the insulin-resistant state; the role of proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) in diabetes.
Gökhan S. Hotamışlıgil, M.D., Ph.D.
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Associate Member, Broad Institute
Associate Member, Harvard Stem Cell Institute
Focus on chronic metabolic diseases (i.e., obesity, diabetes, fatty liver disease, and atherosclerosis), with a particular interest in the integration of immune and metabolic responses, organelle homeostasis, and lipid metabolism and signaling.
Edward T. Chouchani, PhD, Assistant Professor of Cancer Biology, Dana Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI), and of Cell Biology, HMS. Mitochondrial metabolism and physiology regulation by redox-active metabolites. https://chouchanilab.dana-farber.org/
Nika Danial, PhD, Associate Professor of Cancer Biology and of Medicine, DFCI; Affiliate Member of Cell Biology, HMS. Molecular mechanisms and biologic consequences of cellular fuel choices. In collaboration with the Farese-Walther lab, showed that metabolic gene expression is regulated by partitioning of MLX-family transcription factors to lipid droplets. https://www.dfhcc.harvard.edu/insider/member-detail/member/nika-danial-phd/
A. Sloan Devlin, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, HMS. Uses small molecules to study and manipulate human-associated bacteria in order to better understand how microbiomes affect human health and disease, including effects of microbiomes on metabolism, circadian rhythm, and immune pathways in the gut and liver. https://devlin.hms.harvard.edu/sloan/
Wendy Garrett, MD, PhD, Professor of Immunology & Infectious Diseases, Departments of Immunology & Infectious Diseases, Molecular Metabolism, HSPH; and Medicine, HMS; Co-Director of the Harvard Chan Microbiome in Public Health Center. Interplay between the gastrointestinal immune system and the gut microbiome, focusing on host metabolic responses in health and in diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/wendy-garrett/
Marcia Haigis, PhD, Professor of Cell Biology, Department of Cell Biology, HMS. Studies how molecular pathways that control metabolic health and aging impact mitochondrial bioenergetics and signaling using proteomics, cell biology, and mouse genetics. https://haigis.hms.harvard.edu/marcia-c-haigis-phd
Sheng “Tony” Hui, PhD, Assistant Professor of Molecular Metabolism, Department of Molecular Metabolism, HSPH. Leverages quantitative analysis of intracellular metabolism to quantify systemic and tissue-specific metabolic flux in vivo. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/sheng-tony-hui/
Shingo Kajimura, PhD, Principal Investigator at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. His laboratory studies the molecular basis of bioenergetics in health and disease, i.e., how we coordinate metabolic demands and control energy homeostasis, and how the processes go wrong in metabolic diseases, cancer, and aging. https://bidmc.theopenscholar.com/kajimuralab/
Nora Kory, PhD, Assistant Professor of Molecular Metabolism, HSPH. Studies mitochondrial energy generation and how metabolite exchange is adjusted to meet metabolic demand and cell state. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/profile/nora-kory/
Quan Lu, PhD, Associate Professor of Environmental Health, Department of Environmental Health, HSPH. Integrative genomics of lung biology and disease; gene-environmental interactions; microvesicle trafficking and receptor signaling. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/quan-lu/
William Mair, PhD, Associate Professor of Molecular Metabolism, Department of Molecular Metabolism, HSPH. Integrates molecular studies of cellular or tissue metabolism into models of biological processes such as healthy aging. Studies molecular and cellular mechanisms influencing the metabolic health of animals as they age, with a focus on nutrient- and energy-sensing pathways and insulin signaling. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/william-mair/
Brendan Manning, PhD, Professor of Molecular Metabolism, Department of Molecular Metabolism, HSPH. Studies how signals from nutrients and growth factors are propagated to coordinately regulate nutrient metabolism. Investigates molecular regulation of the Pl3K-mTOR network under physiological and pathological states and how its downstream functions contribute to metabolic homeostasis and dysfunction. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/brendan-manning/
Pere Puigserver, PhD, Professor of Cancer Biology and Cell Biology, Departments of Cancer Biology and Cell Biology, HMS and DFCI. Investigates the cell-signaling pathways that impact nutrient sensing and bioenergetic responses in cells and metabolic tissues. https://cellbio.hms.harvard.edu/faculty-staff/pere-puigserver-phd
Jean Schaffer, MD, Associate Research Director of the Joslin Diabetes Center, Member of the Faculty of Medicine at HMS. Investigates the mechanisms linking metabolic stress to cell dysfunction and cell death, including lipotoxicity caused by high circulating free fatty acids and triglycerides. https://www.schafferlab.org/jean-schaffer
Bruce Spiegelman, PhD, Stanley Korsmeyer Professor of Cancer Biology and Medicine, HMS. Uncovering the molecular basis of energy homeostasis and tissue development, using adipogenesis and muscle as primary model systems. Interests include the biochemical mechanisms of metabolic diseases, especially obesity, insulin resistant diabetes (type 2), and muscle diseases.
Yu-Hua Tseng, PhD,Senior Investigator in the Section on Integrative Physiology and Metabolism at the Joslin Diabetes Center and Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School. Her research is focused on brown fat biology, energy metabolism, gene expression, signal transduction, and mitochondrial biology, and how these relate to obesity and diabetes. https://yhtsenglab.org/
Dyann Wirth, PhD, Professor of Immunology & Infectious Diseases, HSPH. Investigates molecular aspects of malaria infection, with an emphasis on metabolic responses to the parasite. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/dyann-wirth/
MMTP is funded through a training grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), award number: T32DK128781
NIDDK’s mission statement: : https://www.niddk.nih.gov/about-niddk/meet-director/mission-vision
Inquiries regarding the MMTP can be directed to Katrina Soriano, Executive Director in the Department of Nutrition and the Department of Molecular Metabolism: Kwright@hsph.harvard.edu