The He Laboratory

Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University

Autophagy, Metabolism and Exercise

Welcome to the He Lab!

The research in our lab is centered on autophagy, a lysosomal degradation pathway essential for nutrient recycling, cellular maintenance and physiological function. Autophagy is induced by various stress conditions, and allows cells to adapt to changing nutrient and energy demands through protein catabolism. Malfunction of autophagy is implicated in a variety of diseases such as cancer, neurodegeneration, infection and aging.

Our interest focuses on the roles and mechanisms of autophagy in the metabolic regulation of mammals and in the pathogenesis of metabolic disorders in human, including obesity and type 2 diabetes. There are many open questions in this largely unexplored area; our research directions include studies of the functions of autophagy in exercise-induced metabolic benefits, and investigation of the molecular mechanism of autophagy and its relationship to other lysosomal degradation pathways in the prevention of metabolic dysregulation.