• lab group pic
  • meng fairwell

Principal Investigator:


Hai-Bin Ruan, Ph.D. (Email)
Hai-Bin Ruan received his Ph.D. in Genetics from Nanjing University in 2008, mentored by Dr. Xiang Gao. He then did his postdoctoral training at Yale University School of Medicine with Dr. Xiaoyong Yang from 2009 to 2015. In January 2016, he started his independent research lab at the Department of Integrative Biology & Physiology of University of Minnesota Medical School.  




Postdoctoral Associates:

Ming ZhaoMing Zhao, Ph.D. (Email)
Start date: Jan 2016.
Research interest: Microbiota-host interactions & intestinal homeostasis.
Ming Zhao received his Bachelor of Medicine degree from the Peking University Health Science Center in 2008 and his Ph. D. degree in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of Minnesota, twin cities in 2015. His previous research was focused on adipogenesis, inflammation and the “browning” of white adipocyte progenitors. Now, in the Ruan lab, he studies the microbiota-host interactions & intestinal homeostasis. While trying to become a better researcher in the lab, he is also improving his 3-point shooting and hoping to be as good as Steph Curry in one day.

Zengdi Zhang

Zengdi Zhang, M.D. & Ph.D. (Email)
Start date: March 2017
Research interest: Adipokine physiology
Zengdi received her M.D. degree in Clinical Medicine from Wuhan University and her Ph.D. degree from Nanjing Medical University. She was a pediatrician at Nanjing Children’s Hospital and her previous research was mainly focused on Medulloblastoma. In the Ruan lab, she studies the physiological function of an adipocyte-derived hormone.
Zan HuangZan​​​​ Huang, Ph.D. (Email)
Start date: December 2016
Research interest: Brown/beige fat & energy metabolism
Zan received his Ph.D. degree in Biology from Nanjing University in 2014, and became an Associated Professor at Nanjing Agriculture University since then. His previous research was mainly focused on thermogenesis in brown adipose tissue, and now he is focusing on the intergrowth among virus and microbiota in intestine. In the Ruan lab, he continues to work on cellular and molecular underpinnings of thermogenesis.

Graduate Students:

ZahraZahra Moazzami (Email)
Start date: July 2020
Research interest: Fuel utilization in brown fat
Zahra received her B.S. degree in Nutrition with Honors from South Dakota State University and is pursuing her M.S. degree in Nutrition at the University of Minnesota. During her time as an undergraduate student, Zahra was involved in clinical research and served as the coordinator of a clinical study. Zahra is interested in molecular nutrition and metabolism as she believes nutrition-related problems can be tracked more precisely if the underlying contributing factors are studied at the molecular and biochemical levels.
Anna Carey, Pharmcology rotation student
Nov. 2020 - Jan. 2021
Rotation project: Diabetes-induced bone marrow stromal remodeling

Undergraduates & Volunteers:

Kawita Michareune
Class of 2021, studying Human Physiology and Psychology
Start date: Spring 2020
Angela Kim
Class of 2021, studying Human Physiology and Asian and Middle Eastern Studies- Korean
Start date: Fall 2020

Join Us

We are seeking passionate graduate students to join our lab. Rotations are welcome.

Affiliated Graduate Programs:

Integrative Biology & Physiology

Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology (MICaB)