Metabolic and Nutritional Programming

For the human body to function properly, it must have the right amount of energy and resources in the right place at the right time. That’s the role of metabolism, a vast array of chemical reactions that power every biological process, from regulating appetite to ensuring that the immune system can continue to fight off invaders like illness-causing viruses and bacteria.

When energy production or distribution breaks down, the results can be catastrophic — diseases such as cancer, Parkinson’s and diabetes are all known to have varying degrees of metabolic involvement. By rigorously studying metabolism and how it is impacted by nutrition and our own genetics, Van Andel Institute’s Metabolic and Nutritional Programming team aims to develop scientifically driven strategies for improving health through earlier and improved prediction, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease.




Metabolic and Nutritional Programming Staff

Abigail Ellis, B.S.
Research technician
Christine Isaguirre, B.S.
Research technician
Michelle Minard, B.S.
Senior administrative assistant II
Brejnev Muhire, Ph.D.
Bioinformatics research scientist
Ryan Sheldon, Ph.D.
Research Scientist

Recent Publications

Izreig S, Gariepy A, Kaymak I, Bridges HR, Donayo AO, Bridon G, DeCamp LM, Kitchen-Goosen SM, Avizonis D, Sheldon RD, Laister R, Minden MD, Johnson NA, Duchaine TF, Rudoltz MS, Yoo S, Pollak MN, Williams KS, Jones RG. 2020. Repression of LKB1 by miR-17~92 sensitizes MYC-dependent lymphoma to biguanide treatment. Cell Rep Med.

Cordeiro B, Jeon P, Boukhaled GM, Carrado M, Lapohos O, Roy DG, Williams KS, Jones RG, Gruenheid S, Sagan SM, Krawczyk CM. 2020.MicroRNA-9 fine-tunes dendritic cell function by suppressing negative regulators in a cell-type-specific manner. Cell Rep 31(4).

Roy DG*, Chen J*, Mamane V, Ma EH, Muhire BM, Sheldon RD, Shorstova T, Koning R, Johnson RM, Esaulova E, Williams KS, Hayes S, Steadman M, Samborska B, Swain A, Daigneault A, Chubukov V, Roddy TP, Foulkes W, Pospisilik JA, Dourgeois-Daigneualt, Artyomov MN, Witcher M, Krawczyk CM, Larochelle C, Jones RG. 2020. Methionine metabolism shapes helper T helper cell responses through regulation of epigenetic reprogramming. Cell Metab 31(2):250–266.
Highlighted in a preview in Cell Metabolism

EH Ma, Verway MJ, Johnson RM, Roy DG, Steadman M, Hayes S, Williams KS, Sheldon RD, Samborska B, Kosinski PA, Kim H, Griss T, Faubert B, Condotta SA, Krawczyk CM, DeBerardinis RJ, Marsh K, Richer MJ, Chubukov V, Roddy T, Jones RG. 2019. Metabolic profiling using stable isotope tracing reveals distinct patterns of glucose utilization by physiologically activated CD8+ T cells. Immunity.

Staal B, Liu Y, Barnett D, Hsueh P, He Z, Gao C, Partyka K, Hurd MW, Singhi AD, Drank RR, Huang Y, Maitra A, Brand RE, Haab BB. 2019. The sTRA plasma biomarker: Blinded validation of improved accuracy over CA19-9 in pancreatic cancer diagnosis. Clin Cancer Res 25(9):2745–2754.

Barnett D, Haab BB. 2019. Automated identification and quantification of signals in multichannel immunofluorescence images: The SignalFinder platform. Am J Pathol.

Saibil SD*, St. Paul *, Laister RC, Garcia-Batres CR, Israni-Winger K, Elford AR, Grimshaw N, Robert-Tissot C, Roy DG, Jones RG, Nguyen LT, Ohashi PS. 2019. Activation of peroxisome proliferator activated receptors α and δ synergizes with inflammatory signals to enhance adoptive cell therapy. Cancer Res 79(3):445–451.


July 27, 2020
VAI is seeking to hire an exceptional scientist to join its Metabolic and Nutritional Programming faculty at the rank of Assistant, Associate or Full Professor. Learn more here.

Feb. 28, 2020
Save the date for Epigenetics at VAI!
Epigenetics at VAI, is a bi-annual symposium and workshop hosted by Van Andel Institute, will be held Aug. 2–5, 2021. The theme for the 2021 symposium will be 20 Years of the Histone Code. For more information, please visit epigeneticsatvai.org. To be added to our scientific events email list, please email Beth Resau at Beth.Resau@vai.org.