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. Dysfunctional mitophagy contributes to a number of human metabolic diseases, including aging, neurodegenerative disease, diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Discovering pathways controlling clearance of damaged mitochondria is critical for developing treatments for these diseases. Dr. Ren’s laboratory recently discovered that lipin1, which catalyzes the penultimate step in triglyceride synthesis, is critical for mitophagy. Her current study is exploring the role of dysfunctional mitochondrial clearance associated with lipin1 deficiency in skeletal muscle physiology and pathology.



PhD students

08/2018 - Present                   Abdulrahman Jama

01/2018 - Present                   Abdullah A Alshudukhi


Master students 

10/2020-Present                       Alexandra Sue Brown

10/2019-Present                        Rajsi Yogeshkumar Thaker

09/2018 - 08/2019                   Sandhya R. Sattiraju, graduated in 2020  

10/2016 - 07/2018                   Abdulrahman Jama, graduated in 2018 and accepted by the BMS program at WSU

07/2016 - 12/2017                  Abdullah A Alshudukhi, graduated in 2018 and accepted by the BMS program at WSU


Undergraduate students     

01/2017 - Present                   Rebecca Reese, won first award of Undergraduate Research Poster Session of the Inaugural Biomedical Research Conference in 2018 and received the Considine Scholar award in 2019

04/2019- Present                    Elise Hill

04/2019- 04/2020                   Emily Ann Sustarich                                          

08/2019- 12/2019                   Ahmad Iskandarani

01/2017 – 01/2019                 Nour A. Wahdan

08/2018 – 01/2019                 Steven Cole

09/2018-12/2018                     Marsh E Caitlin             

01/2018-09/2018                     Austin Blaise Calkins       



PhD students

Abdullah A Alshudukhi (Supervisor)                01/2018-Present         BMB

Abdulrahman Jama (Supervisor)                    08/2018-Present         BMB

Astha Shakya (Committee member)               04/2018-Present         BMB

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

Krushangi Nirav Shah (Committee member)   01/2018-Present        BMB

Jananie Rockwood (Committee member)       07/2019-Present        NCBP

Ishita Haider (Committee member)                 01/2018-Present         Biological Sciences (BS), graduated in 2020

James M. Readler (Committee member)        01/2018-01/2019        BS, graduated in 2019 


Master students

Rajsi Yogeshkumar Thaker (Supervisor)           09/2019-Present           BMB

Sandhya R. Sattiraju (Supervisor)                  09/2018-08/2020        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

Abdulrahman Jama (Supervisor)                   10/2016-07/2018        BMB Graduated, won Graduate Student Excellence award

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


  • 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. Physiological Reports. (2020); 8: e14620.
  • 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.
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