Dr. Ahmed Lawan

Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences Department


The goal of our laboratory is to elucidate the involvement of complex signaling pathways in the control of lipid metabolism. This has important implications in human health including the development of obesity, fatty liver disease, diabetes, metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. The molecular and physiological basis for the actions of MAPK phosphatases (MKPs) in cell and whole-body metabolism is the broad focus of our research program. Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) have emerged as major sensors of environmental status, where environmental indications motivate intracellular signaling pathways responsible for regulation of fundamental cellular physiological functions like cell survival and death, metabolism, proliferation and cell cycle. MAPKs are inactivated by direct dephosphorylation of their regulatory threonine and tyrosine residues by MKPs. Our studies use a combination of biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, genetics and mouse models to study metabolism and metabolic disorders. Our research program aims include: Regulation of lipid metabolism by MKPs in physiology and disease; Gut-liver axis connection in the development of fatty liver disease; Identify and characterize novel MKP/MAPK substrates in lipid metabolism; Identify targets and design therapies for treating metabolic and cardiovascular diseases.


  • Ph.D. Cell biology and Cardiovascular Disease, University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom, 2011
  • Associate Research Scientist, Department of Pharmacology, Yale University School of Medicine, 2015-2019
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Pharmacology, Yale University School of Medicine, 2011-2015

Classes Taught