Hongmei Ren, Ph.D.

Biochemistry/Molecular Biology-COSM
Associate Professor, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Diggs Laboratory 148, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy, Dayton, OH 45435-0001


Ph.D: Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition, London Metropolitan University (2007)
Postdoctoral: Cardiovascular Research Center, University of Kentucky (Dr. Andrew Morris)

Research Statement

Dr. Ren’s research interests focus on lipid metabolism, its association with autophagic clearance of mitochondria (mitophagy) and homeostasis, and its effects on cardiac and skeletal muscle function. Dr. Ren’s laboratory recently identified that lipin1 is critical for the maintenance of membrane integrity, and plays complementary roles in myofiber stability and muscle function in dystrophic muscles. Nevertheless, the expression levels of the lipin1 gene are dramatically reduced in the skeletal muscles of DMD patients. This leads the current main focus toward investigating the mechanism by which the phosphatidic acid phosphatase ameliorates the dystrophic phenotype in DMD.




PhD students

John Karanja Kamau (Supervisor)                 08/2021-Present         BMS

Abdullah A Alshudukhi (Supervisor)              01/2018-04/2023          BMS Graduated

Abdulrahman Jama (Supervisor)                   08/2018-04/2023         BMS Graduated

Master students 

Ibrahim Alsharif Mohamed Alkhomsi               08/2023-present         BMB

Serena Foreman  (Supervisor)                       08/2023-present          BMB

Brooklyn Morris  (Supervisor)                         08/2023-present          BMB

Azzam Ayat (Supervisor)                               10/2021-04/2023          BMB Graduated

Alexandra Sue Brown (Supervisor)               10/2020-4/2022            BMB Graduated

Rajsi Yogeshkurmar Thaker (Supervisor)     09/2019-07/2021          BMB Graduated

Sandhya R. Sattiraju (Supervisor)                  09/2018-07/2020        BMB Graduated

Abdulrahman Jama (Supervisor)                   10/2016-07/2018        BMB Graduated

Abdullah A Alshudukhi (Supervisor)              07/2016-12/2017         BMB Graduated

Undergraduate students     

Serena Foreman                                             06/2022-08/2023     Accepted by Master’s program

Brooklyn Morris                                               01/2022-08/2023     Accepted by Master’s program

Maitri Patel                                                      01/2023-04/2023    

Abbey Evans                                                  01/2023-04/2023         

Warren Joseph                                               03/2022 - 12/2022

Rebecca Reese                                              01/2019 - 04/2020   BS    Graduated with Honors

Elise Hill                                                          04/2019 – 04/2021     

Emily Ann Sustarich                                       04/2019 - 04/2020                                 

Ahmad Iskandarani                                         08/2019 -12/2019       

Nour A. Wahdan                                             01/2017- 01/2019       

Steven Cole                                                    08/2018 - 01/2019       

Marsh E Caitlin                                               09/2018 - 12/2018

Austin Blaise Calkins                                      01/2018 - 09/2018        



PhD students

Sri M.Yerrapragada (Committee member)    08/2023 - present         BS

Pooneh Mohammadi (Committee member)   08/2023 - present        BS

Anthony Milard Young (Committee member) 08/2021 - present        NCBP

Jananie Rockwood (Committee member)      07/2019 - present        NCBP Graduated

Amanda Kaye Myers (Committee member) 04/2018 - 04/2022         BMB Graduated

Krushangi Nirav Shah (Committee member) 01/2018 - 04/2022       BMB Graduated

Astha Shakya (Committee member)              04/2018 - 12/2019       BMB Graduated

James M. Readler (Committee member)       01/2018 - 01/2019       BS    Graduated

Ishita Haider (Committee member)                01/2018 - 07/2020       BS    Graduated

Master students

Gillespie Breonna (Committee member)       07/2021 – 04/2023      BS    Graduated

Parisa Sadrpour (Committee member)          07/2021 – 04/2023     BMB  Graduated

Kourtney Sprague (Committee member)       07/2020 – 07/2022     BMB  Graduated

Akshay Hira (Committee member)                01/2018 - 08/2019      BMB Graduated

Eid Alshammari (Committee member)          01/2018 - 07/2019      BMB Graduated

Astha Shakya (Committee member)             01/2018 - 08/2019      BMB Graduated

Sarah E. Kovar (Committee member)           01/2017 - 08/2018      BMB Graduated

Amjad Aljagthmi (Committee member)          08/2016 - 08/2017      BMB Graduated

Hitham Aldharee (Committee member)         08/2016 - 08/2017     BMB Graduated

Minyi Chen (Committee member)                  08/2016 - 08/2017     BMB Graduated



  • Brown A, Morris B, Kaumau J, Alshudukhi AA, Jama A, Ren H. Automated image analysis pipeline development to monitor disease progression in muscular dystrophy using CellProfiler. AJP-Renal Physiology. (2023) 324(5): F433-F445. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00226.2022. PMID: 36927118 PMCID: PMC10085566.
  • Ume A, Wenegieme TY, Shelby J, Paul-Onyia C, Waite III A, Kamau J, Adams D, Susuki K, Bennett E, Ren H, and Williams C. Tacrolimus Induces Fibroblast to Myofibroblast Transition via a TGFβ-Dependent Mechanism to Contribute to Renal Fibrosis. AJP-Renal Physiology. (2023) 324(5): F433-F445. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00226.2022. PMID: 36927118 PMCID: PMC10085566.
  • Jama A, Alshudukhi AA, Burke S, Dong L, Kamau JK, Voss AV, Ren H. Lipin1 plays complementary roles in myofiber stability and regeneration in dystrophic muscles. J Physiol. (2023) 601(5):961-978. doi: 10.1113/JP284085. PMID: 36715084. PMCID: PMC9992338.
  • Klionsky et al. Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy (4th edition).  Autophagy. (2021) 17(1):1-382. PMID: 33634751. 
  • Sattiraju SR, Jama A, Alshudukhi AA, Townsend NE, Miranda DR, Reese RR, Voss AA, Ren H. Loss of membrane integrity drives myofiber death in lipin1-deficient skeletal muscle. Physiol Rep. (2020); 8: e14620. PMID: 33113595. PMCID: PMC7592881.
  • Miranda DR, Reed E, Jama A, Bottomley M, Ren H, Rich MM, Voss AA. Mechanisms of altered skeletal muscle action potentials in the R6/2 mouse model of Huntington's disease. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. (2020); 319(1):C218-C232. PMID: 32432924.
  • Dong L, Ma L, Ma GH, Ren H. Genome-wide Analysis Reveals DNA Methylation Alterations in Obesity Associated with High Risk of Colorectal Cancer. Sci Rep. (2019) 9(1): 5100. PMID: 30911103.
  • Jama A, Huang D, Alshudukhi AA, Chrast R, Ren H. Lipin1 is required for skeletal muscle development by regulating MEF2c and MyoD expression. J Physiol. (2019) 597(3):889-901. doi: 10.1113/JP276919. PMID: 30511745.
  • Alshudukhi AA, Zhu J, Huang D, Jama A, Smith JD, Wang QJ, Esser KA, Ren H. Lipin1 regulates Bnip3-mediated mitophagy in glycolytic muscle, FASEB J. (2018) fj201800374. PMID: 29939786.
  • Dong L, Ren H. Blood-based DNA Methylation Biomarkers for Early Detection of Colorectal Cancer. J Proteomics Bioinform. (2018) 11(6):120-126. PMID: 30034186.
  • Federico L, Yang L, Brandon J, Panchatcharam M, Ren H, Mueller P, Sunkara M, Escalante-Alcalde D, Morris AJ, Smyth SS. Lipid phosphate phosphatase 3 regulates adipocyte sphingolipid synthesis, but not developmental adipogenesis or diet-induced obesity in mice. PLoS One. (2018) 13(6): e0198063. PMID: 29889835. 
  • Jiang W, Zhu J, Zhuang X, Zhang X, Wu T, Esser KA, Ren H. Lipin1 regulates skeletal muscle differentiation through ERK activation and Cyclin D complex regulated cell cycle withdrawal. J Biol Chem. (2015) 290(39):23646-55, PMID: 26296887, PMCID: PMC4583021.
  • Subramanian T, Ren H, Subramanian KL, Sunkara M, Onono F, Morris AJ,Spielmann P. Design and Synthesis Of Non-Hydrolyzable Homoisoprenoid α-Monofluorophosphonate Inhibitors of PPAPDC Family Integral Membrane Lipid Phosphatases. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. (2014) Sep 15;24(18):4414-7, PMID: 25150376, PMCID: PMC4206410.
  • Mitra M, Chen Z, Ren H, Harris T, Chambers K, Hall AM, Nadra K, Klein S, Chrast R, Su X, Morris AJ, Finck BN. Mice with an adipocyte-specific lipin 1 separation-of-function allele reveal new roles for phosphatidic acid in metabolic regulation. PNAS. (2013) 110(2):642-7. PMID: 23267081 PMCID: PMC3545773.
  • Ren H, Panchatcharam M, Mueller P, Escalante-Alcalde D, Morris AJ, Smyth SS. Lipid phosphate phosphatase (LPP3) and vascular development. Biochim Biophys Acta. (2013)1831(1):126-32. PMID:22835522.
  • Xiang B, Zhang G, Ren H, Sunkara M, Morris AJ, Gartner TK, Smyth SS, Li Z. The P2Y(12) antagonists, 2MeSAMP and cangrelor, inhibit platelet activation through P2Y(12)/G(i)-dependent mechanism. PLoS One. (2012) 7(12):e51037. PMID: 23236426 PMCID: PMC3516503.
  • Federico L, Ren H, Mueller P, Wu T, Liu S, Popovic J, Blalock E, Sunkara M, Ovaa H, Albers HM, Mills GB, Morris AJ, Smyth SS. Autotaxin and its product lysophosphatidic acid suppress brown adipose differentiation and promote diet-induced obesity in mice. Mol Endocrinol. (2012) 26(5):786-97. PMID:21803291; PMCID: PMC3167228.
  • Pihlajamäki J, Lerin C, Itkonen P, Boes T, Floss T, Schroeder J, Dearie F, Crunkhorn S, Burak F, Jimenez-Chillaron JC, Kuulasmaa T, Miettinen P, Park PJ, Nasser I, Zhao Z, Zhang Z, Xu Y, Wurst W, Ren H, Morris AJ, Stamm S, Goldfine AB, Laakso M, Patti ME. Expression of the splicing factor gene SFRS10 is reduced in human obesity and contributes to enhanced lipogenesis. Cell Met. (2011) 14(2): 208-18. PMID:21803291 PMCID: PMC3167228.
  • Huang H, Gao Q, Penga X, Choia S-Y, Sarmaa K, Ren H, Morris AJ, Frohman MA. piRNA-associated germline nuage formation and spermatogenesis require MitoPLD pro-fusogenic mitochondrial-surface lipid signaling. Dev Cell. (2011) 20(3):376-87. PMID:21397848 PMCID:PMC3061402.
  • Ren H, Federico L, Huang H, Sunkara M, Drennan T, Frohman MA, Smyth SS, Morris AJ. A Phosphatidic acid binding/nuclear localization motif determines lipin1 function in lipid metabolism and adipogenesis. Mol Biol Cell. (2010) 18:3171-3181. PMID:20660155 PMCID: PMC2938383.
  • Liu GH, Qu J, Carmack AE, Kim HB, Chen C, Ren H, Morris AJ, Finck BN, Harris TE. Lipin proteins form homo- and hetero-oligomers. Biochem J. (2010) 432(1):65-76. PMID:20735359 PMCID:PMC3117669.
  • Miriyala S, Subramanian T, Panchatcharam M, Ren H, Sunkara M. Drenan T, Smyth SS, Spielmann HP and Morris, A.J. Functional characterization of the atypical integral membrane lipid phosphatase PDP1/PPAPDC2 identifies a pathway for interconversion of isoprenols and isoprenoid phosphates in mammalian cells. J. Biol. Chem (2010) 285:13918-29. PMID: 20110354 PMCID:PMC2859554.
  • Su W, Yeku O, Olepu S, Genna A, Park JS, Ren H, Du G, Gelb M, Morris A, Frohman MA. 5-Fluoro-2-indolyl des-chlorohalopemide (FIPI), a phospholipase D pharmacological inhibitor that alters cell spreading and inhibits chemotaxis. Mol Pharmacol.( 2009) 75(3):437-46. PMID:19064628 PMCID: PMC2684902.
  • Ren H, Ghebremeskel K, Okpala I, Ugochukwu CC, Crawford A, Ibegbulam O. Patients with Sickle Cell Disease have Reduced Blood Antioxidant Protection. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. (2008) 78(3):139-47. PMID:19003736.
  • Ren H, Ghebremeskel K, Okpala I, Ugochukwu CC, Crawford, Ibegbulam O. Abnormality of erythrocyte membrane n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in sickle cell hemoglobin (HbSC) disease is not as remarkable as in sickle cell anaemia (HbSS). Prostaglandins Leuko Essent Fatty Acids, 74: 1-6, 2006. PMID:16314081.
  • Ren H, Magulike NO, Ghebremeskel K, Crawford M (2006) Primary open angle glaucoma patients have reduced levels of blood docosahexaenoic and eicosapentaenoic acids. Prostaglandins Leuko Essent Fatty Acids 74(3): 157-163, 2006. PMID:16410047.
  • Ren H, Ibegbulam O, Okpala I, Ghebremeskel K, Ugochukwu CC, Crawford M. Steady state haemoglobin level in sickle cell anaemia increases with an increase in erythrocyte membrane n-3 fatty acids. Prostaglandins Leuko Essent Fatty Acids 72(6): 415-421, 2005. PMID:15876528.
  • Ren H, Okpala I, Ghebremeskel K, Ugochukwu CC, Ibegbulam O, Crawford M. Blood mononuclear cells and platelets have abnormal fatty acid composition in homozygous sickle cell disease. Ann Hematol 84(9): 578-583, 2005. PMID:15809883.


2020, Wright State University Women in Science Giving Circle Faculty Awards

  • 2012–2016, American Heart Association Scientist Development Grant (National Center), Identification Number: 12SDG12050697.
  • 2013–2015, Junior Investigator of COBRE grant (PI, L. Cassis), NIH COBRE P20 GM103527.
  • 2012–2013, Pilot grant award from Center of Research in Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease (COCVD) from NIH COBRE P20 GM103527.
  • 2011–2012, American Heart Association Beginning Grant-In-Aid, Great Rivers Affiliate. AHA Identification Number: 11BGIA7710059.
  • 2011– 2012, Pilot grant award from Center of Research in Obesity and  Disease (COCVD) from NIH COBRE P20 GM103527.
  • 2008–2011, American Heart Association Post Doctoral Fellowship, Great Rivers Affiliate. AHA Identification Number: 0825607D and 10POST4210002 (one-year renewal).
  • 2009, Second Prize of the Best Postdoctoral Poster Presentation, the Third Annual Postdoctoral Poster Presentation (University of Kentucky).
  • 2004–2007, Thomas H. Smouse Memorial Fellowship Awards, the AOCS Foundation.
  • 2004–2005, Scholarship for Stroke Research, AOCS Natural Health Research Institute.
  • 2002–2007, Mother and Child Foundation Scholarship, The Mother and Child Foundation.

Student's accomplishments

Brooklyn Morris               2023     First Place Undergraduate Student Oral Presentation  Award, Festival of Research, WSU

John Karanja Kamau      2023     Best Graduate Poster Presentation Award, Festival of Research, WSU  

Abdullah A Alshudukhi    2022     Best Poster Award, Festival of Research, WSU University

John Karanja Kamau      2022    Outstanding Presentation Award, Festival of Research, WSU

Rebecca Reese              2019    Considine Scholar Award          

                                        2018    First Place Presentation Award for Undergraduate Research Session of the Inaugural Biomedical Research Conference   

Abdulrahman Jama        2018    Graduate Student Excellence Award                                   



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