Principal Investigator:


Hai-Bin Ruan, Ph.D. (Email)
Associate Professor
Land Grant Professor of Metabolism
Department of Integrative Biology & Physiology (IBP)
Center for Immunology (CFI)

IBP profile >

Current Members:


Zahra Moazzami

Zahra Moazzami, BS (Email)
Nutrition graduate student; AHA predoctoral fellow; Start date: July 2020.
Zahra received her B.S. degree in Nutrition with Honors from South Dakota State University and is pursuing her PhD 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.

Chenxin Gu

Chenxin Gu, MS (Email)
Researcher 2; Start date: Mar 2022.
Chenxin got his BS in Veterinary Medicine from Shanxi Agricultural University in 2017 and then his MS in Clinical Veterinary Medicine from Northwest A&F University in 2021. His current research focus is aging-associated brown adipose tissue dysfunction.   

Xuechun Chang

Xuechun (Sherry) Chang, BMed, MS (Email)
Nutrition graduate student; Start date: Jan 2023.
Xuechun received her Bachelor's Degree in Medicine (M.D. equivalent) from Xi’an Jiaotong University and her Master’s Degree in Neurology from Fudan University. During master's study, her research focused on the immunopathogenesis of neuromyelitis optica. Xuechun is currently a PhD student in Nutrition Program and working on metabolic crosstalk between intestinal epithelial cells and immune cells in inflammatory bowel disease.


Maria Rickman, BA (Email)
Researcher 1; Start date: Jan 2022.
Maria graduated from UMN in Spring 2023 with a degree in Biology with a minor in Nutrition. In her previous lab, her research focused on investigating a potential directional cue for cell polarization. Currently, her research project focuses on the brain regulation of pancreatic islet function in diabetes. Maria is interested in pursuing medicine and hopes to attend medical school. Outside of school she loves running, traveling, and reading. 


Yuan Zhang, PhD (Email)
Postdoctoral Associate; Start date: May 2023.
Yuan received her PhD degree in Food Science and Engineering from Southwest University in 2022. During PhD her study, she investigated the intervention of carbohydrates on antibiotic-induced gut microbiota disorders and resilience. Currently she is exploring the role of natural microbial exposure on host metabolism and immunity. Yuan is a cat person, outside the lab, she enjoys staying with her cat, cooking, hiking, and traveling.

Ifrah Aden (Email)
Undergraduate Researcher; Start date: Spring 2022.
Dean's First-Year Research and Creative Scholar; INPUT scholar

Zihao Wang

Zihao Wang (Email)
Undergraduate Researcher; Start date: June 2023.
Zihao is majoring in Human Physiology and will graduate in May 2024. He was in the Dean’s list. His directed research focuses on microbial regulation of host metabolism. 

Past Members

NameRoleDateCurrent position
Zengdi Zhang, MD/PhDVisiting Scholar, PostdocMar 2017- Dec 2022 
Ming Zhao, PhDPostdocJan 2016 - Mar 2021Senior Associate Scientist, Amgen
Zan Huang, PhDVisiting Scholar, PostdocDec 2016 - Dec 2020Associate Professor, Nanjing Agricultural University 
Bing Liu, PhDPostdocMay 2016 - Jan 2019Investigator I, Seqirus
Kaiqun Ren, PhDVisiting ScholarDec 2016 - Dec 2017Associate Professor, Hunan Normal University
Nicholas GomezMaster studentNov 2022 - Dec 2023 
Aishwarya BhowmikRotation studentSep 2021 - Dec 2021Pharmacology PhD program
Anna CareyRotation studentNov 2020 - Jan 2021Pharmacology PhD program
Pedro Rodriguez    Rotation studentOct 2017 - Dec 2017IBP PhD program
Chinmayi Sahu, BSResearcher 1Nov 2016 - Sep 2018 
Ryan Heck, BSResearcher 1Jun 2016 - July 2017Senior Strategy Associate, Boston Scientific
Meng Cheng, BSResearcher 1Sep 2016 - Apr 2017Graduate student at UNC
Karen FahimDFRACS programJan 2022 - May 2022UMN Class of 2023
Lauren CookleUndergraduateJan 2022 - Aug 2022UMN Class of 2024
Alexander BattistUndergraduateJun 2021 - Aug 2021MPH student at U. of Chicago
Navya KoneripalliUndergraduate & Researcher 1 Mar 2021-Dec 2021MPH student at Columbia U.
Angela KimUndergraduateSep 2020 - Jun 2021PHD student at Yale
Kawita MichareuneUndergraduateJan 2020 - Jun 2021Emergency Department Technician
Emily WolniewiczUndergraduateJan 2020 - Mar 2020UMN Class of 2020
Brianna OngUndergraduate & Researcher 1Sep 2017 - Jun 2019MD student at UMD
Madysen CramerUndergraduateSep 2017 - Jun 2018UMN Class of 2019
Adam ChenUndergraduateNov 2017 - Jun 2018UMN Class of 2020
Aneesh SwaminathanWayzata High School12/2021-06/2023JHU undergraduate