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 did his postdoctoral training in Nutritional Biochemistry at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. 





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.





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.




TimTim Heden

Tim joined the Mashek lab as a Postdoctoral Fellow in September 2017. He was trained as an Exercise Physiologist and holds a B.S. and M.S. degree in Kinesiology from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and a Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology from the University of Missouri-Columbia. His graduate studies focused on the impact of different lifestyle interventions on metabolic health. He then pursued his first postdoc at East Carolina University where his studies focused on phospholipid synthesis and mitochondrial bioenergetics. Tim discovered that mitochondrial PE synthesis is essential for mitophagy, and these studies sparked a new research interest for him in the field of autophagy. He then joined the Mashek lab, where he could combine his research interest in lipid metabolism and autophagy. His current project is characterizing how lifestyle (i.e. Mediterranean diet, exercise) impacts autophagy/lipophagy and metabolic health. In his free time he enjoys spending time outdoors with his family and friends, exercising, and enjoying different cultures cuisine.  

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.





ExniangEnxiang Zhang

Enxiang joined the Mashek lab as a visiting research scholar from China in the fall of 2017. He is a 4th year Ph.D. student from China Agriculture University majoring in food science and nutrition. During his Ph.D, his research focused on cellular signal transduction and the involvement of autophagy in NAFLD.  He mainly focuses on the role of lipophagy in NAFLD in the Mashek lab.





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. 





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.





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.