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headshot of Laura Musselman

Laura Musselman

Associate Professor

Biological Sciences


The Musselman lab aims to understand the mechanisms underlying stress due to caloric excess. Overloading metabolic pathways leads to metabolic stress and death in all eukaryotes. They use the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, as a simple model to understand how metabolic imbalance leads to reductions in fitness. Their work has shown that fat storage in the fly adipose, known as the fat body, improves survival of larvae fed high sugar (HS) diets. Reducing fat body lipogenesis impairs the ability of animals to survive caloric overload. Current work in the lab combines genetic, genomic, and metabolomic strategies to better understand the specific contributions of the fat body, brain, heart, and muscle to fitness during metabolic overload. We are also interested in the basic mechanisms that govern the distribution of stored nutrients in different tissues, and how altering this distribution affects systems physiology.


  • Post-doc, Washington University School of Medicine
  • PhD, University of Utah
  • BS, Cornell University

Research Interests

  • Systems physiology of obesity
  • Lipid and sugar metabolism
  • Interactions between the diet and genotype

Research Profile