Lab Members

Katsu Funai (PI) CV Faculty site
BS/MS: Boston University, PhD: University of Michigan, Postdoc: Washington University


Katsu was born in Kumamoto, Japan. He was raised both in Japan and in Switzerland. He speaks fluent Japanese but his German is poor at best. In 1998, he moved to the United States to attend Boston University to obtain his Bachelor's degree in Physiology. There he was inspired by his Biochemistry professor to pursue a career in research. He obtained his Master's degree also at BU where he worked with Roger Fielding to study aging and muscle protein metabolism. Then he attended University of Michigan to earn his PhD in Kinesiology working in Greg Cartee's lab to study exercise and muscle glucose metabolism. Most recently he was a postdoc and an instructor at the Washington University in St. Louis working with Clay Semenkovich to study obesity and muscle lipid metabolism. In spare time he enjoys spending time with his family (wife and 4 boys), who taught him various new meanings to "enjoys spending time" when people with many kids use that phrase. He loves playing/watching soccer and is found in a good mood when Chelsea is winning with a style. He also loves travelling but can't remember the last time he took a vacay, so that no longer counts as his hobby.


Tim Heden (Postdoctoral fellow)
BS/MS: Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville,
PhD: University of Missouri-Columbia


Tim is originally from the Chicago area. He obtained his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Kinesiology from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. While working at SIUE as an instructor, personal trainer, and strength and conditioning coach, he became interested in research examining how different lifestyle interventions impacted endocrinology and metabolism. Further, he also liked teaching, so he decided to pursue a Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology with a goal of becoming a professor in academia. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri – Columbia while working in the lab of Jill Kanaley.    

Undergraduate Interns
Tara Narowski (Exercise Physiology BS)
Armondo Balotti (Exercise Physiology BS)

Part-time Members
Eddie Wentzler
(Lab Technician)
Stephanie Strong
(Biology/Chemistry BS & APS/NHLBI STRIDE Fellow)

Patty Brophy (Clinical Research Coordinator)
Angela Clark (Research Nurse)
Dino Spaniolas (Research Physician)
Bob Hickner (Biopsy Supervisor)
Kvin Lertpiriyapong (Animal Surgeon)

Previous Members
Ian Smith (Exercise Physiology BS)
Madelaine Fellela
(Exercise Physiology BS)
Lindsey Corbert
(Exercise Physiology BS)
Thomas Sartori
(Exercise Physiology BS)
Chris Paran
(Lab Technician)
Chaz Lowery (Exercise Physiology BS)
Taylor Riggs
(Exercise Physiology BS)
Julie Atkinson
(Exercise Physiology BS)

Tony Verkerke (Bioenergetics PhD student)
BS: University of Michigan


Tony hails from Menominee, Michigan. Menominee is located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula about 60 miles north of Green Bay, Wisconsin. He attended University of Michigan where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Movement Science. While at Michigan, he was able to develop his passion for research working in Dr. Greg Cartee’s Muscle Biology Laboratory. Tony loves to play and watch sports, especially hockey. He also loves to fish and enjoys relaxing on a beach.

Patrick Ferrara
(Exercise Physiology MS student)
BS: Salisbury University


Patrick was born and raised in Hamilton, NJ. He attended Salisbury University where he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and minors in Biology and Chemistry. While at Salisbury he worked in the Laboratory for Human Performance and studied the differences in energy expenditure between explosive and recreational resistance training. He also played football at Salisbury and still enjoys watching games every weekend during the Fall. In the winter he loves to snowboard (as you can tell by his picture) and hopes to still be able to make at least one trip back north to find some snow this winter! Currently Patrick is performing research in the Funai Lab looking at the effects of phospholipid membrane composition on insulin resistance, lipid deposition, and fatty acid oxidation in skeletal muscle. ​

Jordan Johnson (Bioenergetics PhD student)
BS: Brigham Young University


Jordan grew up in Highland, Utah. He attended Brigham Young University, where he received his Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science with a minor in Nutritional Science. As a result of his coursework, Jordan became interested in metabolism research. He studied the effects of insulin resistance on iron homeostasis while working with Dr. Chad Hancock in the Department of Nutritional Sciences. In addition to graduate student life, Jordan enjoys spending time with his wife, playing sports (running, basketball, baseball), camping, hiking, and watching movies.

Darrell Neufer (East Carolina University)
Raz Shaikh (East Carolina University)
Espen Spangenburg
(East Carolina University)
Joseph Houmard
(East Carolina University)
Ethan Anderson (East Carolina University)

John Turk (Washington University)
Dennis/Jean Vance (University of Alberta)
Peter Tontonoz (University of California Los Angeles
Chuck Burant (University of Michigan)
Mihail Chelu
(University of Utah)
Naresh Bal
(Sanford Burnham)
Dale Cowley/Donna Bortner
(UNC-Chapel Hill)
Heather Lawson (Washington University)
Carlos Bernal-Mizrachi (Washington University)