DougDoug Mashek

Doug is currently an Associate Professor with a primary appointment in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics (BMBB) and a secondary appointment in the Department of Medicine, Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism. He currently serves as the Head of the Metabolic and System Biology Division of BMBB. Doug earned his B.S. from Iowa State University, M.S. from Michigan State University and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin.  Doug then did his postdoctoral training in Nutritional Biochemistry at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.  He then spent nearly 10 years as a faculty member in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at the U of M before a lateral move to his current position.




Mara Mashek

Mara is the "boss" of the laboratory and a multi-tasking queen. In addition to her own projects, she is the glue that keeps everything together and the oil that keeps the machine (i.e. the lab) running smoothly (at least most days :). Mara received her B.S. from Iowa State University and her M.S. from Michigan State University.





AishwaryaAishwarya Sathyanarayan

Aish joined the laboratory as PhD student (completed degree in 2016) and is now a postdoc. She is from India where she received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in microbiology. Aishwarya then worked in India for a pharmaceutical company as an assay development scientist for small molecule therapeutics targeting obesity driven cardiovascular diseases.  Her research in the Mashek lab focuses on lipid droplet catabolism and fatty acid trafficking and signaling in the liver.

Charles NajtCharles Najt

Charlie joined the Mashek lab in the summer of 2016 as a postdoctoral fellow. He obtained his Ph.D in biochemistry from Michigan State University where he studied the role of Perilipin 2 in hepatic inflammation.  Charles is characterizing the role of various lipid droplet proteins in lipid droplet signaling. In addition, Charlie is an avid skier and runner.





MostafaMostafa Ali

Mostafa is a postdoctoral fellow that joined the Mashek lab in the fall of 2016. Mostafa earned his PhD in Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise from Virginia Tech. During his PhD, Mostafa studied the role of skeletal muscle inflammatory signaling in exercise metabolism. Prior to his doctoral studies, Mostafa served in Egypt as an assistant lecturer at Helwan University. Mostafa's research interest is focused on examining the effects of exercise on skeletal muscle fat metabolism. Besides enjoying soccer, Mostafa is an international referee in the United World Wrestling (UWW).




WenqiWenqi Cui

Wenqi joined the Mashek lab as a postdoctoral fellow in the summer of 2017. She is from China where she received her B.S. degree in Biotechnology Engineering and her M.S. degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences.  She obtained her Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Toxicology from the University of Kansas where she studies the post-translational modifications of Pregnane X Receptor in liver inflammation. Her research interest in the Mashek lab is focusing on the molecular details of lipophagy in NAFLD.




JonathanJonathan Ploeger

Jonathan is a 5th year Ph.D. student studying lipid metabolism and cell signaling in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).  He is interested in looking at the interaction between dietary lipid composition and modifiers such as exercise or caloric restriction on HCC development.  Before joining the lab Jonathan earned his B.A. from St. John’s University in Biology followed by a Doctorate in Chiropractic Medicine from Northwestern College of Chiropractic in Bloomington, MN and practiced for 6 years before returning to research as an NIH Cancer Fellow.




Michael LoprestiMichael Lopresti

Michael is a first year graduate student in the BMBB PhD program who joined the lab in February 2017. He received his undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. Michael's current project is studying lipophagy. Outside of lab, he enjoys reading and playing with Roxie, his pet rabbit.





FullerMitchell Fuller

Mitch joined the Mashek lab in the summer of 2017 as a junior scientist. He obtained his B.S in biochemistry with Summa Cum Laude distinction from the University of Minnesota in May of 2017. Mitch is now investigating lipid droplet metabolism and signaling. In his free time Mitch loves to run, golf and head to the lake with his friends. Mitch is currently applying to medical school with the hope of being admitted to a 2018 entering class.



Laurent BoatnerLauren Boatner

Lauren is a senior undergraduate student. Currently she is working towards a degree in Animal Science. When she isn’t working in the lab or in class, Lauren can be found practicing her photography and spending time with her dog.






Hosam AlkhatibHosam Alkhatib

Hosam is a second-year undergraduate from Sartell, MN. He is majoring in biology at the University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences. Hosam joined the lab during his second semester of college to satisfy his interests in the biological sciences. Outside of the lab and college, Hosam enjoys traveling, watching movies, cheering on the Minnesota Timberwolves, and tubing and (ungracefully) water skiing on the Mississippi river with his friends. 





LinneaLinnea Mead

Linnea is a fourth year undergrad who joined the lab in spring 2017. She is majoring in biochemistry and minoring in neuroscience with hopes of pursuing graduate programs in nutritional biochemistry upon graduating in May 2018. Outside of the lab she enjoys spending time with her cat, running, and hiking with her family out in Utah.





Christina Dailey

Christina is from Sycamore, Illinois and is a senior in the college of Biological Sciences. She is majoring in Genetics, Cellular Biology, and Development with a minor in Public Health. She's been in the Mashek lab since February 2016.