Michelle A. Puchowicz, PhD

Assistant Professor     |     Director - MMPC Analytical and Metabolic Core

  • CASE Mouse Metabolic Phenotyping Center) MMPC




In 1999, Michelle Puchowicz received her Ph.D. in Nutrition from Case Western Reserve University (CASE), following her undergraduate studies in Biomedical Engineering (CASE).  As a graduate student Dr. Puchowicz studied the applications of Nutrition and Metabolism using in vivo animal models and stable isotopes & mass isotopomer analysis to characterize whole body metabolism of short-chain synthetic nutrients.

During her Post-doctoral / Research Associate work at CASE, she specialized in the effects hypoxia, ischemia, and ketosis on energy metabolism in brain. Dr. Puchowicz focused on developing treatments for ischemic reperfusion injury and mathematical modeling of brain metabolism. She was the first to show that diet-induced ketosis can protect against stroke-induced brain injury.  She also discovered that ketosis increases capillary density in the brain, a mechanism that may underlie its neuroprotective effect.

As a faculty member in the Department of Nutrition at CASE, Dr. Puchowicz continues to study energy metabolism in whole body and brain. She is experienced in using in vivo animal models and stable isotopomer analysis to study intermediary metabolism. The use of rodent models, synthetic nutrients / related nutritional compounds and mass spectrometry technologies enables her to study and develop potential treatment strategies for the management of pathologies/diseases associated with metabolic defects in energetics and metabolism.

As the Director of the Metabolomic and Analytical Core of the Case MMPC (Metabolic Phenotyping Center), Dr. Puchowicz spends a substantial amount of time consulting with investigators (local, outside the University, and abroad).  As such, she discusses ways to design their experiments, perform procedures and complete analyses.  Fitting with the overall mission of the National MMPC Consortium, Michelle Puchowicz is committed to helping the research community at-large by providing precise metabolic and physiologic phenotyping services for mouse and rat models of diabetes, diabetic complications, obesity and others associated metabolic disorders.


B.S.  (Biomedical Engineering)  |  1995
Case Western Reserve University

M.S. (Nutritional Biochemistry)  |  1997
Case Western Reserve Universit

Ph.D.  (Nutritional Biochemistry)  |  2000
Case Western Reserve University


Metabolomics; brain and body energy metabolism; regulation of fatty acid, ketone body and glucose metabolism; mass spectrometry.

Dr. Puchowicz mentors undergraduate and graduate students with various science / engineering backgrounds on their research projects. This is achieved through individual mentoring and course work.   Michelle Puchowicz is also a regular faculty member for the week-long MMPC Consortium course "Isotope Tracers in Metabolic Research: Principles and Practice of Kinetic Analysis" held once a year in Little Rock, Arkansas.


Xu K, Lamanna JC, Puchowicz MA(2012) Neuroprotective properties of ketone bodies. Adv Exp Med Biol.  737: 97-102.  PMID: 22259088 [PubMed - in process]

Xu K, Radhakrishnan K, Serhal A, Allen F, Lamanna JC, Puchowicz MA. (2011) Regional brain blood flow in mouse: quantitative measurement using a single-pass radio-tracer method and a mathematical algorithm. Adv Exp Med Biol. 701: 255-60. PMID: 21445795 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Kombu RS, Brunengraber H, Puchowicz MA(2011) Analysis of the citric acid cycle intermediates using gas chromatography-mass spectrometryMethods Mol Biol. 708: 147-57.  PMID: 21207288 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Xu K, Puchowicz MA, Sun X, LaManna JC.  (2010) Decreased brainstem function following cardiac arrest and resuscitation in aged ratBrain Res. 1328: 181-189. PMID: 20211610 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] Free PMC Article

Xu K, Sun X, Eroku BO, Tsipis CP, Puchowicz MA, LaManna JC.  (2010) Diet-induced ketosis improves cognitive performance in aged rats. Adv Exp Med Biol. 662: 71-5. PMID: 20204773 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] Free PMC Article.

Puchowicz MA, Zechel JL, Valerio J, Emancipator DS, Xu K, Pundik S, LaManna JC, Lust WD.  (2008)  Neuroprotection in diet induced ketotic rat brain following focal ischemia.  J Cereb Blood Flow Metab.  28(12): 1907-16. Epub 2008 Jul 23. PMID: 18648382 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Xu K, Puchowicz MA, Sun X, LaManna JC. (2008)  Mitochondria dysfunction in aging rat brain following transient global ischemia.  Adv. Exp. Biol. Med. 614: 379-386. PMCID: PMC3071507.   (Free PMC Article)

Puchowicz MA, Xu K, Sun X, Ivy A, Emancipator D, LaManna JC. (2007)  Diet-induced ketosis increases capillary density without altered blood flow in rat brain. Am. J. Physiol. Endocrinol Metab.  292: E1607-E1615.  PMID: 17284577 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]     (Free Full Text)


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