Phases of fat: dissecting the life-cycle and biophysical phases of lipid droplets

Mike Henne received his undergraduate degree at Texas Tech University, and conducted graduate studies at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology at Cambridge University, UK. After a post-doc in Scott Emr’s lab at Cornell University, he started his own lab at UT Southwestern in Dallas, Texas. His lab studies lipid metabolism and how inter-organelle crosstalk enables cells to adapt to metabolic and nutrient challenges. He is also very interested in lipid droplets (LDs), and has characterized proteins that facilitate LD inter-organelle contacts, as well as dissected how the lipid content of LDs influences the biophysical phases of LD lipids. His lab also utilizes Drosophila to interrogate how proteins at membrane contact sites influence organismal homeostasis and impact nutrient storage and aging. Mike’s lab uses a combination of cell biology, biochemistry, and genetics to deeply understand organelle biology and inter-organelle crosstalk in several model systems including human cells, Drosophila, and budding yeast. He holds several private and NIH grants including a NIGMS MIRA Award, and was a 2016 Searle Scholar.