Welcome to the Schlegel Laboratory. Located in the Eccles Institute of Human Genetics on the University of Utah’s School of Medicine campus. We are a research enterprise focused on understanding metabolic disease, with particular attention to type 2 diabetes and dyslipidemia.



Mission Statement

The Schlegel Laboratory at the University of Utah School of Medicine is a research environment focused on metabolic diseases. We use an array of methods from in vitro enzymology to human physiology to identify and characterize novel genes involved in glucose and lipid homeostasis. The lab’s main experimental models are mouse and zebrafish.

Fasting Glucose Determinants

We study the role of FOXN3, a Forkhead box transcriptional repressor, in regulating fasting glucose metabolism. Blending human population genetics with zebrafish and mouse models, we are deciphering the role of this factor in liver, with particular emphasis on how it responds and feeds back to glucagon-producing alpha cells of the pancreatic islets. This project continues to use all three experimental models


Ketone Body Transport

We identified and are dissecting the role of the monocarboxylic acid transporter SLC16A6 in liver export of ketone bodies. This project began with a genetic screen in zebrafish and has transitioned to mouse physiology.

Group Leader


Amnon Schlegel, MD, PhD

Principle Investigator

MD and PhD, Albert Einstein College of Medicine 2002



Dr. Schlegel was recruited to the University of Utah in 2010 as an Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and an Investigator in the Molecular Medicine program. He is currently associate professor of Internal Medicine, Biochemistry, and Nutrition and Integrative Physiology. He was previously Assistant Adjunct Professor of Medicine and Member of the Liver Center at the University of California San Francisco. He was on the staff at San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, where he attended on the in-patient consultative service and in the General Endocrine and Diabetes Clinics. Dr. Schlegel was a trainee in the Medical Scientist Training Program of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine where he received his M.D. and Ph.D. He was an intern and resident physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA, and was a Fellow in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He was a clinical fellow in the Diabetes, Endocrine, and Metabolism Training Program at the University of California San Francisco, where he was subsequently a post-doctoral associate in the laboratory of Professor Didier Y.R. Stainier, Ph.D., in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. His lab focuses on liver metabolism during fasting.

Research Assistant Professor


Santhosh Karanth, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor

PhD in Biology, 2010
Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada
santhosh.karanth [at]

Graduate Research Assistant


Faith M. Bowman

BS, 2018 University of Wisconsin

Undergraduate Honors Thesis Student


Kasper M Koblansi

BS (expected 2022), University of Utah Honors College




Lourdes Cruz-Garcia, Ph.D.


PhD in Biology, 2010
University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
lourdescruz.garcia [at]
Post-doctoral associate 2011-2014


Tibiaban Benetiz-Santana, Ph.D.

Post Doctoral Associate

PhD Aquaculture 2011

Post-doctoral associate 2015-2017


Original Work


Glucose Metabolism

  1. Safavi-Hemami H, Gajewiak J, Karanth S, Robinson SD, Ueberheide B, Douglass AD, Schlegel A, Imperial JS, Watkins M, Bandyopadhyay PK, Yandell M, Li Q, Purcell AW, Norton RS, Ellgaard L, Olivera BM. Specialized insulin is used for chemical warfare by fish-hunting cone snails. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2015. 112:1743-1738. (
  2.       Karanth S, Zinkhan EK, Hill JT, Yost HJ, Schlegel A . FOXN3 regulates hepatic glucose utilization. Cell Rep. 2016. 15:2745-2755. (
  3. Karanth S, Adams JD, Serrano MLA, Quittner-Strom EB, Simcox J, Villanueva CJ, Ozcan L, Holland WL, Yost HJ, Vella A, Schlegel A. Cell Rep. 2018. 24:312-319. (


Intestinal Lipid Transport 

  1.       Schlegel, A. Stainier DYR. Microsomal triglyceride transfer protein is required for yolk lipid utilization and absorption of dietary lipids. Biochemistry. 2006. 45:15179-87. (
  2.       Cruz-Garcia L, Schlegel A. Lxr-driven enterocyte lipid droplet formation delays transport of ingested lipids.  J Lipid Res. 2014. 55:1944-58. (
  3. Benítez-Santana T, Hugo SE, Schlegel A. Role of intestinal LXRα in regulating post-prandial lipid excursion and diet-induced hypercholesterolemia and hepatic lipid accumulation. Front Physiol 2017. 8:280. (


Liver Lipid Metabolism

  1.       Anderson RM, Bosch JA, Goll MG, Hesselson D, Dong PD, Shin D, Chi NC, Shin CH, Schlegel A, Halpern M, Stainier DY. Loss of Dnmt1 catalytic activity reveals multiple roles for DNA methylation during pancreas development. Dev Biol. 2009. 334:213-23. (
  2.       Hugo SE, Cruz-Garcia L, Karanth S, Anderson RM, Stainier DYR, and Schlegel A. A monocarboxylate transporter required for hepatocyte secretion of ketone bodies during fasting. Genes Dev. 2012. 26:282-293. (
  3.       Karanth S, Tran VM, Kuberan B, Schlegel A. Polyunsaturated fatty acyl-coenzyme As are inhibitors of cholesterol biosynthesis. Dis Model Mech. 2013. 6:1365-77. (
  4.       Hugo SE, Schlegel A. A genetic screen for zebrafish mutants with hepatic steatosis identifies a locus required for larval growth. J Anat, 2016. 15:2745-55. (
  5. Hugo SE, Schlegel A. A Genetic Model to Study Increased Hexosamine Biosynthetic Flux. Endocrinology 2017. 158:2420-2426. (


Review Articles


Schlegel, A, Stainier DYR. Lessons from “lower” organisms: what worms, flies, and zebrafish can teach us about human energy metabolism. PLoS Genet. 2007. 3:e199. (

Schlegel A.  Studying non-alcoholic fatty liver disease with zebrafish: a confluence of optics, genetics and physiology. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2012. 69, 3953-3961. (

Schlegel A, Gut P. Metabolic insights from zebrafish genetics, physiology, and chemical biology. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2015. 72,2249-60. (

Schlegel A. Zebrafish models for dyslipidemia and atherosclerosis research. Front Endocrinol. 2016. 7,159. (



Schlegel A, Studying lipoprotein trafficking in zebrafish, the case of chylomicron retention disease. J Mol Med. 2015 93, 115-118.

Letters to the Editor

Schlegel A, Monocarboxylate transporter 1 deficiency and ketone utilization. N Engl J Med 2015. 372,578.

Graduate Programs and Interest Groups


We Participate in two Ph-D. granting programs and accept rotation Students:

University of Utah Molecular Biology Program
University of Utah Biological Chemistry Program
15 North 2030 East, Room 1400
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-5330


Office: (801) 585-5207
Fax: (801) 585-2465

We are not soliciting post-doctoral fellowship applications right now. Please check back for postings.
We are members of the following Interest Groups:

1. Metabolism (Seminars In Metabolism), which meets Thursdays at 4 pm (HSEB 6200).

2. Zebrafish Interest Group, which meets two Mondays per month at 12 pm (HSEB 1730 or 1750)

3. Membrane Biology Interest Group, which meets the first Tuesday of the month at 9 am (as scheduled).

4. Department of Biochemistry Research In Progress, which meets at 1 pm on Thursdays (Kjeldsberg Conference Room, JMRB 1200)



Members of the laboratory must attend all interest group meetings, and trainees are expected to present in one or more forum annually.

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Contact Information


Amnon Schlegel, MD, PhD

Associate Professor of Internal Medicine
Adjunct Associate Professor of Biochemistry
Adjunct Associate Professor of Nutrition and Integrative Physiology
Investigator, University of Utah Molecular Medicine (U2M2) Program


Office Address

University of Utah School of Medicine
Division of Endocrinology
15 N 2030 East, EIHG Room 3240B
Salt Lake City, UT 84112


Phone: (801) 585-0730
Fax: (801) 585-0701
Email: amnons [at]


Laboratory (FEDEX) Address

15 N 2030 East, EIHG Room 3420
Salt Lake City, UT 84112


Phone: (801) 585-0733


Clinical Address

(for appointments, questions, and prescriptions)


Utah Diabetes and Endocrinology Center
615 Arapeen Dr., Suite 100
Salt Lake City, UT 84108


Office: (801) 585-7761
Fax: (801) 585-5906
Appointments: (801) 587-3913
University of Utah Molecular Medicine (U2M2) Program
University of Utah Department of Biochemistry