Share this page: More

Michael J. Wolfgang

Michael Wolfgang

Department Affiliation: Primary: Biological Chemistry; Secondary: Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences
Degree: Ph.D., University of of Wisconsin—Madison
Rank: Professor
Telephone Number: 443-287-7680
Fax Number: 410-614-8033
E-mail address:
School of Medicine Address: Rangos 475, 855 N. Wolfe St., Baltimore, MD 21205
Website Link:  Wolfgang


Cellular and Organismal Metabolism

The research in the Wolfgang laboratory utilizes biochemistry and molecular genetics to understand the molecular mechanisms used to sense and respond to nutritional/metabolic cues. We are particularly interested in deciphering the roles of unexplored metabolic enzymes/pathways and determining novel roles of canonical metabolic pathways in cells and tissues in vivo.  Similar to the genomic landscape, there is an incredible amount of chemical metabolic space in cells that is critically important from a basic and clinical science standpoint that has been largely overlooked.  We are trying to fill this large void.  Our laboratory is rather unique as we make heavy use of molecular biology and genetics to understand enzyme and metabolite biochemistry in vivo, and we explore novel enzymes and pathways.  We continue to employ novel chemical-genetic methods to better interrogate metabolic pathways in vivo.  We have a particular interest in unraveling neuronal metabolism and have uncovered novel nutrient sensing paradigms that act through unique metabolic enzymes to control body weight, and susceptibility to diabetes and neurodegeneration.


Representative Publications:

  • Bowman, C.E., Selen Alpergin, E.S., Cavagnini, K., Smith, D.M., Scafidi, S., Wolfgang, M.J. Maternal lipid metabolism directs fetal liver programming following nutrient stress. Cell Reports, 29:1299-1310, 2019.  Pub Med Reference
  • Lee, J., Choi, J., Selen Alpergin, E.S., Zhao, L., Hartung, T., Scafidi, S., Riddle, R.C., Wolfgang, M.J. Loss of hepatic mitochondrial long chain fatty acid oxidation confers resistance to diet-induced obesity and glucose intolerance. Cell Reports, 20:655-667, 2017. Pub Med Reference
  • Bowman, C.E., Rodriguez, S., Selen-Alpergin, E., Acoba, M.G., Zhao, L., Hartung, T., Claypool, S.M., Watkins, P.A., Wolfgang, M.J. The mammalian malonyl-CoA synthetase ACSF3 is required for mitochondrial protein malonylation and metabolic efficiency. Cell Chemical Biology, 24:673-684, 2017. Pub Med Reference
  • Lee, J., Choi, J., Scafidi, S., Wolfgang, M.J. Hepatic fatty acid oxidation restrains systemic catabolism during starvation. Cell Reports, 16: 201-212, 2016. Pub Med Reference
  • Bowman, C.E., Zhao, L., Hartung, T., Wolfgang, M.J. Requirement for the mitochondrial pyruvate carrier in mammalian development revealed by a hypomorphic allelic series. Mol. Cell Biol., 36(15):2089-2104, 2016.  Pub Med Reference
  • Lee, J., Choi, J., Aja, S., Scafidi, S., Wolfgang M.J. Loss of adipose fatty acid oxidation does not potentiate obesity at thermoneutrality. Cell Reports, 14:1308-1316, 2016. Pub Med Reference
  • Nomura, M., Liu, J., Rovira, I.L., Gonzalez-Hurtado, E., Lee, J., Wolfgang M.J., Finkel, T.*  The role of fatty acid oxidation in macrophage polarization. Nature Immunology 17(3): 216-217, 2016. (*Co-corresponding authors). Pub Med Reference
  • Lee, J., Ellis, J.M., Wolfgang, M.J. Adipose fatty acid oxidation is required for thermogenesis and potentiates oxidative stress induced inflammation. Cell Reports 10(2): 266-279, 2015. Pub Med Reference
  • Ellis, J.M., Wong, G.W., Wolfgang, M.J. Acyl Coenzyme A Thioesterase 7 regulates neuronal fatty acid metabolism to prevent neurotoxicityMol. Cell Biol., 33(9) 1869-1882, 2013. Pub Med Reference

Other graduate programs in which Dr. Wolfgang participates:

BCMB Program

Biological Chemistry Graduate Program