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.

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Affiliate Faculty Members

Metabolism and Nutritional Programming Staff

Hyoungjoo Lee, Ph.D.
MeNu Proteomics Platform Director
Michelle Minard, B.S.
Senior Administrative Assistant II

Metabolomics and Bioenergetics Core

Carlos Castello, B.S.
Metabolomics Core Specialist II
Abigail Ellis, B.S.
Research Technician
Christine Isaguirre, B.S.
Ryan Sheldon, Ph.D.
Research Scientist

Recent Publications

Sheldon RD, Ma EH, DeCamp LM, Williams KS, Jones RG. 2021. Interrogating in vivo T-cell metabolism in mice using stable isotope labeling metabolomic and rapid cell sorting. Nat Proto.

Waldhart AN, Muhire B, Johnson B, Pettinga D, Madaj ZB, Wolfrum E, Dysktra H, Wegert V, Pospisilik JA, Han X, Wu N. 2021. Excess dietary carbohydrate affects mitochondrial integrity as observed in brown adipose tissue. Cell Rep 35(5):109488.

Gao CF, Wisniewski LB, Liu Y, Staal B, Beddows I, Plenker D, Aldakkak M, Hall J, Barnett D, Kheir Gouda M, Allen PJ, Drake RR, Zureikat AM, Huang Y, Evans DB, Singhi AD, Brand RE, Tuveson DA, Tsai S, Haab BB. 2020. Detection of chemotherapy-resistant pancreatic cancer using a glycan biomarker, sTRA. Clin Cancer Res.

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.