128F Kidder Hall



B.S.,1979 - University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Michigan

Ph.D., 1984 - Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan


PubMed Citations

2011 TV Interview on Hibernation (select segment from right hand panel)

2014 MPR story on "Nature's Fat-Burning Machine"

Research Interests

Molecular Biology of Mammalian Hibernation

Research in my laboratory is directed toward the characterization of genes and small molecules responsible for the induction and maintenance of hibernation in mammals. Hibernation is seen in a wide-range of taxa including rodents, carnivores, insectivores, bats and even primates. Since the majority of species within these groups do not hibernate, it has been proposed that hibernation results from differential expression of genes common to all mammals, rather than the evolution of new genes unique to the hibernating species. We have used RNAseq and proteomics to identify genes and proteins that are responsible for the physiological characteristics of hibernation in the thirteen-lined ground squirrel Ictidomys tridecemlineatus.

During hibernation body temperature is only a few degrees above 0°C, oxygen consumption holds at 1/30 to 1/50 of the aroused condition and heart rate can be as low as 3-10 beats/minute, compared to 300-400 beats/minute when the animal is active. Mechanisms by which hibernators avoid injury from these extremes are of great biomedical interest because of potential applications in the areas of traumatic brain injury, myocardial infarction, organ preservation, hemorrhagic shock and stroke. We have developed a hibernation-based therapy for hemorrhagic shock and are currently using hibernation strategies to develop new methods for organ preservation. Improvements in preserving donor organs has potential for increasing organ availability for patients on transplant waiting lists worldwide.

Recent Publications 

  • Ballinger, M.A. and Andrews, M.T.  (2018) Nature's fat-burning machine: brown adipose tissue in a hibernating mammal.  J Exp Biol. 221, jeb162586.
  • Ballinger, M.A., Schwartz, C., and Andrews, M.T. (2017) Enhanced oxidative capacity of ground squirrel brain mitochondria during hibernation. Am J Physiol312, R301-R310.
  • Perez de Lara Rodriguez, C.E., Drewes, L.R., and Andrews, M.T. (2017) Hibernation-based blood loss therapy increases survivability of lethal hemorrhagic shock in rats. J Comp Physiol B187, 769-778.
  • Ballinger, M.A., Hess, C., Napolitano, M.W., Bjork, J.A., and Andrews, M.T. (2016) Seasonal changes in brown adipose tissue mitochondria in a mammalian hibernator: from gene expression to function. Am J Physiol., 311, R325-336.
  • Cooper, S.T., Sell, S.S., Fahrenkrog, M., Wilkinson, K., Howard, D.R., Bergen, H., Cruz, E., Cash, S.E., Andrews, MT, and Hampton, M. (2016) Effects of hibernation on bone marrow transcriptome in thirteen-lined ground squirrels. Physiol Genomics 48, 513-525.
  • Anderson, K.J., Vermillion, K.L., Jagtap, P., Johnson, J.E., Griffin, T.J., and Andrews, M.T. (2016) Proteogenomic analysis of a hibernating mammal indicates contribution of skeletal muscle physiology to the hibernation phenotype. J. Proteome Res., 15, 1253-1261.
  • Vermillion, K.L., Jagtap, P., Johnson, J.E., Griffin, T.J., and Andrews, M.T. (2015) Characterizing cardiac molecular mechanisms of mammalian hibernation via quantitative proteogenomics. J. Proteome Res.14, 4792-4804.
  • Schwartz, C., Ballinger, M.A. and Andrews M.T. (2015) Melatonin receptor signaling contributes to neuroprotection upon arousal from torpor in thirteen-lined ground squirrels. Am. J. Physiol., 309, R1292-1300.
  • Schwartz, C., Hampton, M. and Andrews, M.T. (2015) Hypothalamic gene expression underlying pre-hibernation satiety. Genes, Brain and Behavior14, 310-318.
  • Vermillion, K.L., Anderson, K.J., Hampton, M. and Andrews, M.T. (2015) Gene expression changes controlling distinct adaptations in the heart and skeletal muscle of a hibernating mammal. Physiol. Genomics, 47, 58-74.
  • Heinis, F.I., Vermillion, K.L., Andrews, M.T. and Metzger, J.M. (2015) Myocardial performance and adaptive energy pathways in a torpid mammalian hibernator.  Am. J. Physiol.309, R368-377.