Download Curriculum Vitae

My lab works on developmental metabolism and placental biology. We are interested in metabolic changes associated with pregnancy in adult/maternal systems and how the placenta supports the metabolic demands of fetal growth while meeting its own metabolic needs. We use metabolomics, in vivo stable isotope infusions and metabolic flux modeling to understand how adult, placental and fetal compartments use the nutrients that are available to them. We use primary cell culture of both mouse and human placental cells to understand how metabolism supports cell differentiation and function. We have a strong collaborative relationship with the UTSW OB/GYN department and division of Maternal Fetal Medicine to develop novel translational science approaches to improve the health and wellness of pregnant persons and their developing offspring.

My postdoctoral work in the lab of Ralph DeBerardinis at Children's Medical Center Research Institute focused on characterization of Lipoyltransferase I (LIPT1) deficiency. LIPT1 transfers lipoate, an essential co-factor, on to mitochondrial 2-ketoacid dehydrogenase enzymes like pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH), alpha ketoglutarate dehydrogenase (αKGDH), branched chain ketoacid dehydrogenase (BCKADH). These target enzymes of LIPT1 are critical to central carbon and energy metabolism and I have published a series of papers that have enlightened the impact of LIPT1 deficiency. We showed that LIPT1 deficiency alters the metabolic profile of patient plasma and fibroblasts and results in embryonic lethality in a mouse model. I developed methods to perform stable isotope tracing in pregnant mice to demonstrate LIPT1 dysfunction disrupts heart and brain development in the mouse consistent with what has been observed in patients. These techniques uncovered that the placenta and embryo use distinct strategies for energy production and biosynthesis, and fetal tissues display distinct metabolic phenotypes as early as day 11 indicating that metabolism may play a more mechanistic role in organogenesis.

I obtained my Ph.D. in 2016 from the University of Texas at Austin with a focus in Cell and Molecular Biology. Under the mentorship of Dr. Edward (Ted) Mills, my thesis was focused on understanding how mitochondrial uncoupling in skin cells could oppose both cancer and obesity in mice. I obtained my B.S. in 2007 from Sam Houston State University with a major in Biology and minor in Chemistry. 





Graduate School

Research Interest

  • Developmental Metabolism and Placental Biology


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

FDA approved drugs with antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2: From structure-based repurposing to host-specific mechanisms.
Ahmed MS, Farag AB, Boys IN, Wang P, Menendez-Montes I, Nguyen NUN, Eitson JL, Ohlson MB, Fan W, McDougal MB, Mar K, Thet S, Ortiz F, Kim SY, Solmonson A, Williams NS, Lemoff A, DeBerardinis RJ, Schoggins JW, Sadek HA, Biomed Pharmacother 2023 Jun 162 114614
Recessive pathogenic variants in MCAT cause combined oxidative phosphorylation deficiency.
Webb BD, Nowinski SM, Solmonson A, Ganesh J, Rodenburg RJ, Leandro J, Evans A, Vu HS, Naidich TP, Gelb BD, DeBerardinis RJ, Rutter J, Houten SM, Elife 2023 Mar 12
Metabolic impact of pathogenic variants in the mitochondrial glutamyl-tRNA synthetase EARS2.
Ni M, Black LF, Pan C, Vu H, Pei J, Ko B, Cai L, Solmonson A, Yang C, Nugent KM, Grishin NV, Xing C, Roeder E, DeBerardinis RJ, J Inherit Metab Dis 2021 07 44 4 949-960

Honors & Awards

  • Deans Discretionary Award (2023-2023)