Current Lab Personnel:

Ormond A. MacDougald, Ph.D., Principal Investigator

Ormond MacDougald was recruited to UM in 1996 as an Assistant Professor of Physiology. He is currently the John A Faulkner Chair of Physiology and Professor of Molecular & Integrative Physiology, and Internal Medicine. Ormond’s interests include all aspects of adipose tissue biology, and training the next generation of scientists. Outside work he mainly spends time with his wife and four children but he also likes to woodwork, garden, and make music.

Ormond's curriculum vitae

Keegan Hoose, Lab Manager

Keegan joined the MacDougald lab in January 2023 after receiving B.S. degrees in Biochemistry, Psychology, and Fire Science from Lake Superior State University and working as a research assistant in preclinical oncology. Keegan’s interests in the lab are rooted in interdisciplinary work linking adipose tissue with other systems such as cardiovascular, neurological, and musculoskeletal.

Outside of the lab, Keegan enjoys being a high school ski coach and part-time firefighter.

Hiroyuki Mori, Research Investigator

My scientific career has focused on negative regulators of pathways relevant to diabetes and obesity. I have studied physiological and pathological role of each regulatory molecule, using cell and animal models. I graduated from Akita University School of Medicine in Japan and worked as a physician in the field of diabetes and metabolic diseases. I then pursued a graduate research degree and received my Ph.D. from Kyushu University in Japan. My thesis work focused on suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS), where we discovered that SOCS3 inhibits IL-6 signaling and regulates leptin receptor signaling in vivo. Subsequently, I was a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Kun-Liang Guan’s laboratory at the University of Michigan, where I studied mTORC1’s role in a variety of cells and tissues, especially the hypothalamus and pancreatic beta cells. Then, I moved to the laboratory of Dr. Ormond MacDougald, where I studied the role of secreted frizzled-related protein 5 (Sfrp5), a negative regulator of WNT, in adipocyte biology using cultured adipocytes and a transgenic mouse model. I am studying the role of WNT11 in obesity-induced adipose tissue hypoxia, and also exploring the role of hypoxia-induced WNT11 in tumor progression.

Hadla Hariri, Postdoctoral Fellow

''Hadla joined the MacDougald lab in November 2022, after receiving her Ph.D. in Genetics from McGill University in Canada. Her previous work focused on identifying and characterizing novel gene targets eliciting the anabolic effect of the parathyroid hormone in bone. After surviving years of freezing temperatures in Montreal, Hadla decided to switch gears and understand the mechanisms by which white adipocytes adapt to cold environmental temperatures. Outside the lab, Hadla enjoys volleyball, hiking, and board games with friends. A regular day for Hadla must include a cup of Turkish coffee, “Fairuz”, a Lebanese music icon, and a chicken shawarma sandwich with lots of garlic sauce".

Becky Schill, Postdoctoral Fellow

Becky joined the MacDougald lab in March 2018, after receiving her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Wi. Her graduate work focused on the impact of oxidative modification by reactive aldehydes to high-density lipoprotein (HDL)’s function in Reverse Cholesterol Transport. Her current research interests include understanding the role of glucocorticoids on bone marrow adipose tissue expansion following caloric restriction. Outside of lab, Becky enjoys spending time with her husband, new baby and puppy, reading, baking and making fun of her lab-mate, Steven, who totally deserves it.

Romina Uranga, Postdoctoral Fellow

Romina joined the MacDougald lab in September 2021 as a postdoctoral fellow. Romina finished her Ph.D. in Biochemistry at Universidad Nacional del Sur, Bahía Blanca, Argentina, and worked as a researcher of the Argentinian Research Council in the field of neuroscience for several years. Now, Romina is starting a study on Wnt/β-catenin signaling on adipocytes, more specifically, the mechanisms by which Wnt/β-catenin signaling regulates adipocyte gene expression and how the intercellular Wnt signaling between adipocytes and stromal-vascular cells monitors adipose tissue functioning. Outside work, Romina spends time with her husband and two children but she also likes reading, and strength training.

Jessica Maung, Graduate Student

Jess joined the MacDougald lab in May 2021, after receiving her B.S. in Biochemistry from Union College and working as a research technician at Oregon Health and Science University. Jess’s interests in the lab include understanding mechanisms of adipocyte loss in familial partial lipodystrophy 2 (FPLD2), caused by mutations in the nuclear lamina protein, lamin A/C. Outside of the lab, Jess enjoys camping, tennis, food photography, and practicing Indonesian.

Bonje Obua , Graduate Student

Bonje joined the McDougald lab in May of 2023. She received her bachelor’s degree from Colby College in Waterville, ME with majors in both Biology and Spanish. Afterwards, she moved to Boston to work as a research associate at Dana-Farber’s Belfer Center. Originally from Michigan, Bonje returned to the Great Lakes State for her graduate studies. Her interests in the lab include the effect of cold adaptation on immune-related proteins in adipocytes and mechanisms of fat mass loss in familial partial lipodystrophy 2 (FPLD2). Outside of the lab, she enjoys spending time with friends, making pottery, and losing at trivia.

Akira Nishii, Bioinformatics Specialist

Akira started in the lab as an undergraduate student studying the effect of temperature on lipid desaturation in adipocytes under the mentorship of Dr. Hiro Mori. He has now gained considerable expertise in bioinformatics, and is integral to the MacDougald lab’s handling of large datasets. Outside of work, Akira enjoys soccer, karate, and astrophotography.

Isabel Hermsmeyer , Graduate Student Research Assistant

Isabel joined the MacDougald lab in May 2022 as a visiting student from her home department of Anthropology where she is currently working on her PhD, as well as an MPH with the School of Public Health. Isabel's research interests include the evolution of human adiposity and the adaptive functions of adipose tissues in humans and nonhuman primates. Outside of work, Isabel enjoys live music, watching horror movies and eating Taiwanese food.

Brian Desrosiers , Graduate Student

Brian joined the MacLab in April 2024 after receiving his B.S. at Northeastern University and working in biotech. Brian’s interests in the lab include understanding mitochondrial dynamics in adipose tissues.

Lab Alumni:


18 Postdoctoral Fellows

18 Graduate Students

6 Visiting Scientists

1 Co-mentored Postdoctoral Fellow and 9 co-mentored Graduate Students

40 Graduate Student Rotations

66 Undergraduate, Medical and High School students who did research projects in my laboratory

42 Preliminary examination committees 

74 Graduate dissertation committees

4 External counselor for graduate students

11 Scientific and Advisory Committees: K awards, T32, Faculty launch committees, etc.

Pass Members