Lab Members

Our Staff

Our Fellows

Portrait photo of Dr. Lila Gonzalez-Hodar
Lila González-Hódar, Ph.D.
Post-Doctoral Fellow
Dr. González-Hódar received her Ph.D. in Medical Sciences in 2020 from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica in Chile. She started her career studying the role of lysosomal proteins in the gallstone formation. In her Ph.D. thesis, she worked on lipid metabolism in a murine model of lipodystrophy. She joined the Liver and Energy Metabolism Section in September 2020 and is working on elucidating the mechanisms by which some genetic variants protect against NAFLD damage. 
Portrait of Dr. Wing
Allison Wing, Ph.D.
Post-Doctoral Fellow
Dr. Wing received her PhD from Yale University in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology in 2021. As an undergraduate, she optimized an in vitro model of the blood-brain barrier at the University of Delaware. For her dissertation, she studied the effects of dietary fats on adipocyte precursor proliferation and differentiation. She joined the Liver and Energy Metabolism Section in 2021 where she is investigating the role of genetic diversity in the liver on peripheral insulin sensitivity.
Portrait of Dr. Cui
Wenqi Cui, Ph.D.
Post-Doctoral Researcher
Dr. Cui received her PhD in Pharmacology and Toxicology from University of Kansas in 2017. Her PhD dissertation research was focused on the post-translational modifications of nuclear receptor PXR in drug metabolism and liver inflammation. In her first round of postdoctoral research, she studied signaling-dependent lipid droplets catabolism and turnover in NAFLD at University of Minnesota. She joined the Liver and Energy Metabolism Section in February 2021. Her research interests are unveiling the mechanism of HSD17B13 genetic variants to protect against hepatic inflammation and fibrosis, and identifying therapeutics that target hepatic HSD17B13.
Headshot of Willis Tang in black suit
Willis Tang, B.S.
Post-baccalaureate IRTA
Mr. Tang received his Bachelor’s degree in Human Biology with honors from the University of Southern California in 2022. Throughout his undergraduate career, he has conducted a wide variety of research that spans basic science, clinical, and public health fields. His most recent project, before arriving at the NIH, focused on investigating the role of PPAR-beta/delta in linking lipid metabolism with epigenetic changes that promote circulating tumor cell survival. He is currently studying the role of HSD17B13 in liver diseases.
Inflatable shark in a lab
Lady DAG
Lab mascot
An inflatable shark by training, Lady DAG presides over the lab.


Photo of Michael Witthaus
Post-baccalaureate IRTA, 2010-2011
Next position: Medical Student, Boston University, Boston, MA
Current position: Medical Director of Genitourinary Reconstruction, Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery, University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center
Photo of Koji Fujita
Koji Fujita, M.D., Ph.D.
Post-Doctoral Fellow, 2011-2014
Next position: Research Assistant, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine, Yokohama, Japan
Current position: Associate Professor, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Yokohama City University Hospital, Yokohama, Japan
Photo of Gihan Naguib
Gihan Naguib, M.B.Ch.B.
T-32 Clinical Fellow (University of MD), 2013-2016
Next position: Clinical Associate, Division of Pediatric Gastroentrology and Nutrition, Johns Hopkins Children’s Center
Current position: Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Johns Hopkins Children's Center
Photo of Yanling Ma
Yanling Ma, Ph.D.
Post-Doctoral/Research Fellow, 2014-2020
Next position: Senior Research Investigator, Bristol Myers Squibb
Current position: Principal Scientist/Group Leader, Bristol Myers Squibb
Photo of Katherine Valles
Katherine Valles, M.D.  
Post-Baccalaureate IRTA, 2014-2016
Next position: Medical Student, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, NY
Photo of Maren Podszun
Maren Podszun, Ph.D.
Post-Doctoral Fellow, 2016-2020
Next position: Lecturer, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany
Current position: Interim Professor of Nutrition and Dietetics, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany
Photo of Phil Brown
Philip Brown, B.Sc.
Post-baccalaureate IRTA, 2016-2018
Next position: M.D., Ph.D. Student, University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas, TX.
Photo of Dennis Lin
Dennis Lin, B.S.P.H.
Post-Baccalaureate IRTA Fellow, 2018-2020
Next position: Medical student, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, NY
Head shot of Mark Shapses
Mark Shapses, M.D.
Medical Research Scholar, 2019-2020
Next Position: Medical Student, Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University
Current Position: Internal Medicine Resident, Washington University in St. Louis, MO
Portrait picture of Lakshmi Mahajan
Lakshmi Mahajan, B.Sc.
Post-Baccalaureate IRTA Fellow, 2020-2021

Next Position: Medical Student, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, NY

Headshot of Allie Carroll
Allie Carroll, M.D.
Medical Research Scholar, 2021-2022
Next Position: Medical Student, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Bowoo Lee shown wearing graduation gown
Bowoo Lee, B.Sc.
Post-Baccalaureate IRTA Fellow, 2021-2023

Group Photos

Group photo in a dark room, in front of sign saying I SNUFFED OUTView full-sized image Escape Room (2022)
Screenshot of lab members on a Zoom call.Zoom lab meeting (2021)
Group picture of 5 people in front of a portrait and a medal in a glass caseMarshall Nirenberg's Nobel Medal at the National Library of Medicine (2020)
A photograph of people looking at a solar eclipseView full-sized image Solar Eclipse (2017)A photograph of the team at an Escape RoomEscape Room (2017)Group Photo by a Cherry Blossom TreeCherry Blossom Picnic (2016)