Liza Makowski

PhD, UNC-Chapel Hill

Liza Makowski

Division of Biochemistry

Department of Nutrition

Gillings School of Global Public Health
UNC-Chapel Hill

2203 McGavran Greenberg

Makowski "MAC" lab
CV or Biosketch

Area of interest

My expertise lies in immunometabolism, notably macrophage biology and inflammation, metabolomics, mouse models of obesity, and nutrient sensitive signaling pathways. The research focus of my laboratory ( is to understand metabolic reprogramming of immune cells to limit the pathogenesis of complex diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and cancer. My ultimate aim is to find relevant metabolically sensitive pathways in model systems, observe parallels in human populations, and identify targets to reprogram immune cells to restore tissue homeostasis to limit disease. To date, I have received multiple grants including a NIH Pathway to Independence K99/R00 award to investigate macrophage mitochondria’s role in metabolism and inflammation in obesity. I am currently PI on an NIH R21 Provocative Question Grant and completed a Mary Kay Foundation grant to study obesity and breast cancer risk. I was also PI on an American Heart Association grant to study substrate metabolism in macrophage biology in atherosclerosis. Finally, I was co-PI on a BCERP U01 from NIEHS/NCI and co-I on two Department of Defense grants to examine cancer risk and progression integrating obesity, metabolism, and oncogenic pathways. Recent grants have funded investigation of metabolic reprogramming of macrophages in obesity-induced breast cancer.

4 Highlighted publications:

Johnson AR*, Qin YY*, Cozzo A, Freemerman AJ, Huang MJ, Zhao L, Sampey BP, Milner JJ, Beck MA, Edin ML, Zeldin D, Galanko JA, Lee D, Fueger PT, Damania B, Bivins B, Stahl A, Wu Y, Mohlke K, Makowski L. Macrophage Fatty Acid Transporter 1 (FATP1) Drives Alternative Macrophage Polarization and Limits Obesity-Induced Inflammation. *denotes co-first authorship. Molecular Metabolism, IN PRESS. DOI:

Cozzo AJ*, Sundaram S*, Ottavia Zattra O, Qin Y, Freemerman AJ, Essaid L, Darr DB, Montgomery SA, McNaughton KK, Ezzell JA, Galanko JA, Troester MA,  Makowski L. cMET inhibitor crizotinib impairs angiogenesis and reduces tumor burden in the C3(1)-Tag model of basal-like breast cancer. *denotes co-first authorship. Springer Plus - Breast Cancer Collection. Mar 2016

Freemerman AJ, Johnson AR, Sacks GN, Milner JJ, Kirk EL, Troester MA, Macintyre AN, Goraksha-Hicks P, Rathmell JC, Makowski L. Metabolic reprogramming of macrophages: Glucose Transporter (GLUT1)-mediated glucose metabolism drives a pro- inflammatory phenotype. J Biol Chem. Feb 2014

Sundaram S, Freemerman AJ, McNaughton KK, Galanko JA, Bendt KM, Darr DB, Perou CM, Troester MA, Makowski, L. Role of HGF in obesity-associated tumorigenesis: C3(1)-Tag mice as a model for human basal-like breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res Treat. Dec 2013

Complete List of Published Work in MyBibliography:


Reach NC Profile