KATSU FUNAI portrait
  • Assistant Professor, Physical Therapy & Athletic Training
  • Associate Professor, Molecular Medicine
  • Adjunct Associate Professor, Department Of Biochemistry
  • Associate Professor, Nutrition & Integrative Physiology

Research Summary

Lipids are the most abundant organic constituents in many humans. The rise in obesity prevalence has prompted a need for a more refined understanding of the effects of lipid molecules on cell physiology. In skeletal muscle, deposition of lipids can be associated with insulin resistance that contributes to the development of diabetes. Muscle cells are equipped with the molecular machinery to convert and sequester lipid molecules, thus rendering them harmless.


  • BS/MS, Physiology, Boston University
  • PhD, Kinesiology, University of Michigan
  • Postdoc, Endocrinology, Washington University School of Medicine


Dr. Funai’s research involves studying the molecular mechanisms that regulate skeletal muscle metabolism. He uses cell culture, mouse models, and clinical studies to understand how lipid molecules mediate the effect that obesity has on cellular homeostasis. His laboratory is located at the Diabetes & Metabolism Research Center at the Eccles Institute of Human Genetics.