Department of Biology
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MATTHEW T. ANDREWS, McKnight Presidential Professor of Biology; Director, Bio-Translational Research Center
Mat Andrews

B.S., 1979, University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Ph.D., 1984, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit

Office: 253D SSB
Phone: 218-726-7271

Office hours: Tuesdays 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. or by appointment

Research Interests

Genetic factors controlling mammalian hibernation

Research in my laboratory is directed toward the characterization of genes responsible for the induction and maintenance of hibernation in mammals. Hibernating mammals provide a unique system for identifying molecules that are important in regulating metabolism, body temperature and food intake. In a state of deep 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 awake and active. We are currently using RNAseq to identify genes that are responsible for the physiological characteristics of hibernation in the thirteen-lined ground squirrel Ictidomys tridecemlineatus. A study examining the transcriptome of heart, skeletal muscle and white adipose tissue can be found at:

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 the differential expression of genes common to all mammals rather than the evolution of new genes unique to the hibernating species. Determining the function of gene products involved in hibernation is one of the main goals of the laboratory and has applications in the areas of hypothermia, ischemia/reperfusion injury, cardiac function and organ preservation. A transgenic approach examining mechanistic aspects of hibernation can be found at:

TV interview on hibernation

Nature's Fat-Burning Machine

Recent Publications

  • Hampton, M., Melvin, R.G. and Andrews, M.T. (2013) Transcriptomic analysis of brown adipose tissue across the physiological extremes of natural hibernation. PLoS One 8, e85157.
  • Schwartz, C., Hampton, M. and Andrews, M.T. (2013) Seasonal and regional differences in gene expression in the brain of a hibernating mammal. PLoS One 8, e58427.
  • Schwartz, C. and Andrews, M.T. (2013) Circannual Transitions in gene expression: lessons from seasonal adaptations. In Ann E. Rougvie, Michael B. O'Connor, editors: Developmental Timing. Current Topics in Developmental Biology 105, 247-274.
  • Nelson, B.T., Ding, X., Gerard, R.D., Kliewer, S.A. and Andrews, M.T. (2013) Metabolic hormone FGF21 is induced in ground squirrels during hibernation but its overexpression is not sufficient to cause torpor. PLoS One 8 (1), e53574.

  • Alam, H.B., Pusateri, A.E., Kindzelski, A., Egan, D., Hoots, K., Andrews, M.T., Rhee, P., Tisherman, S., Mann, K., Vostal J., Kochanek, P.M., Scalea, T., and Sopko, G. (2012) Hypothermia and hemostasis in severe trauma: A new crossroads workshop report. J. Trauma Acute Care Surg 73, 809-817.
  • Hampton, M., Melvin, R.G., Kendall, A.H., Kirkpatrick, B., Peterson, N. and Andrews, M.T. (2011) Deep sequencing the transcriptome reveals seasonal adaptive mechanisms in a hibernating mammal. PLoS One 6(10), e27021.
  • Klein, A.H., Wendroth, S.M., Drewes, L.R., and Andrews, M.T. (2010) Small volume D-beta-hydroxybutyrate solution infusion increases survivability of lethal hemorrhagic shock in rats. Shock, 34, 565-572.
  • Hampton, M., Nelson, B.T., and Andrews, M.T. (2010) Circulation and metabolic rates in a natural hibernator: an integrative physiological model. Am. J. Physiol. 299, R1478-1488.


  • BIOL 4231 Molecular Biology

Postdoctoral Associates

  • Christine Schwartz - Ph.D., Texas A&M University
  • Katie Vermillion - Ph.D., University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Current Graduate Students

  • Kyle Anderson - B.S., University of Wyoming
  • Mallory Ballinger - B.S., Black Hills State University
  • Clair Hess - B.S., University of Minnesota Duluth

Undergraduate Researchers

  • Grant Carlisle
  • Betsy Madole
  • Jake Otis
  • Alex Theis
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Last modified on 11/17/14 11:23 AM
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