Environment & Metabolic Health (MET)

The social and economic toll of diseases linked to abnormal metabolism, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and liver disease, is staggering. Recent statistics underscore the severity of the issue, with cardiovascular disease ranking as the leading cause of death both in the US and worldwide. Additionally, nearly 30 million Americans are affected by diabetes, and an alarming three times that number are at risk of developing the condition. Furthermore, over 30 million Americans deal with some form of liver disease.

The etiology of these debilitating diseases involves intricate interactions between genetic and environmental factors. Notably, the rampant obesity epidemic stands out as a significant risk factor contributing to the mounting burden of metabolic disorders in contemporary society.

The Environment & Metabolic Health (MET) Research Interest Group includes 14 members from Wayne State University and Henry Ford Health who share interests in 1) environmental influences on the development of metabolic disorders, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and liver disease or 2) xenobiotic metabolism, including its regulation and role in physiology and toxicology.


Name Research Interests
Marianna Sadagurski, Leader Central regulation of metabolism and environmental pollutant exposures
Robert Brook Understanding the adverse cardiometabolic health effects of environmental exposures
James Granneman Therapeutic adipose tissue remodeling and lipid metabolism
Christopher Kassotis Impact of endocrine-disrupting chemicals on metabolic health
Ulrike Klueh Rose of environmental pollutants in controlling inflammation and diabetes
Thomas Kocarek Regulation of xenobiotic-metabolizing enzyme expression
Lawrence Lash Environmental chemicals and kidney function
Todd Leff Nuclear receptors and metabolic regulation
Phillip Levy Hypertension and cardiovascular disease
Wanqing Liu Pharmacogenomics and human liver disease and cancer
Emilio Mottilo Molecular and cellular mechanisms of lipid metabolism and liver disease
Suresh Palanivandi Mechanisms of diabetes-induced cardiovascular complications
Michael Petriello Mechanisms that link environmental exposures, nutrition and cardiometabolic disease
Melissa Runge-Morris Xenobiotic metabolism in physiology and toxicology
Kezhong Zhang Endoplasmic reticulum stress responses in metabolic disease and air pollution

Research Highlights

Bérubé, R, LeFauve, MK, Heldman, S, Chiang, Y-TT, Birbeck, JA, Westrick, J, Hoffman, K, and Kassotis, CD. Adipogenic and endocrine disrupting mixture effects of organic and inorganic pollutant mixtures. Science of the Total Environment 876:162587, 2023.

Koshko L, Scofield S, Debarba L, Stilgenbauer L, Sacla M, Fakhoury P,  Jayarathne H., Perez-Mojica J.E, Griggs E., Lempradl A., Sadagurski M. Prenatal benzene exposure alters offspring hypothalamic development predisposing to metabolic disease in later life. Chemosphere 330:138738, 2023.

Kim H, Song Z, Zhang R, Davies BSJ, and Zhang K. A hepatokine derived from the ER protein CREBH promotes triglyceride metabolism by stimulating lipoprotein lipase activity. Science Signaling 16:768, Epub 2023.

Cuko L, Duniec-Dmuchowski Z, Rondini EA, Pant A, Fallon JK, Wilson EM, Peraino NJ, Westrick JA, Smith PC, and Kocarek TA. Negative regulation of human hepatic constitutive androstane receptor by cholesterol synthesis inhibition: Role of sterol regulatory element binding proteins. Drug Metabolism and Disposition 49:706-717, 2021.

Roth K, Yang Z, Agarwal M, Liu W, Peng Z, Long Z, Birbeck J, Westrick J, Liu W, and Petriello MC. Exposure to a mixture of legacy, alternative, and replacement per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) results in sex-dependent modulation of cholesterol metabolism and liver injury. Environment International 157:106843, 2021.

Li, R., Wang Y., Chen R., Gu W., Zhang L., Gu J., Wang Z., Liu Y., Sun Q., Zhang K., and Liu C. Ambient fine particulate matter disrupts hepatic circadian oscillation and lipid metabolism in a mouse model. Environmental Pollution 262:114179, 2020.

Liu Z, Zhang Y, Graham S, Wang X, Cai D, Huang M, Pique-Regi R, Dong XC ,Chen Y, Willer C, and Liu W.  Causal relationships between NAFLD, T2D and obesity have implications for disease subphenotyping. Journal of Hepatololgy. 73:263–276, 2020.



facebook youtube twitter linkedin

Center for Urban Responses to Environmental Stressors