Matthew T. Andrews

MED - Image - Size 2 - MatthewAndrewsMcKnight Presidential Professor
Joint, Primary Appointment with Biology


Dr. Andrews' Biology Department Webpage
Academic Health Center Graduate Programs
Integrated Biosciences Graduate Program


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 sleep. 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 200-300 beats/minute when the animal is awake and active. We are currently identifying genes that are responsible for regulating the physiological characteristics of hibernation in the heart of the thirteen-lined ground squirrel Spermophilus tridecemlineatus.As part of a high-throughput screen for genes expressed in the hearts of active and hibernating animals, we have assembled contigs for over 100 distinct ground squirrel cDNAs. As a genomic resource, the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) has funded the construction of a Bacterial Artificial Chromosome (BAC) library of the thirteen-lined ground squirrel genome. Status and availability of this library 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 hypothermiaschemia/reperfusion injury, cardiac function and organ preservation.


  • Ph.D. Wayne State University School of Medicine, 1984
  • Postdoctoral, Carnegie Institution of Washington

Laboratory Personnel

  • Bethany Nelson, Graduate Student
  • Cecilia Edna Perez de Lara Rodriguez, Graduate Student
  • Richard Melvin, Post-doctoral Fellow
  • Christine Schwartz, Post-doctoral Fellow
  • Anne Kendall, Sr. Lab Technician
  • James Bjork, Scientist


Publications on PubMed

Recent Publications:

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.

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.

Melvin, R.G. and Andrews, M.T. (2009) Torpor induction in mammals: recent discoveries fueling new ideas. Trends Endocrinol. Metab. 20, 490-498.

Andrews, M.T., Russeth, K.P., Drewes L.R., and Henry, P.G. (2009) Adaptive mechanisms regulate preferred utilization of ketones in the heart and brain of a hibernating mammal during arousal from torpor. Am. J. Physiol. 296, R383-393.

Henry, P.G., Russeth, K.P., Tkac, I., Drewes, L.R., Andrews, M.T., and Gruetter, R. (2007) Brain energy metabolism and neurotransmission at near-freezing temperatures: in vivo 1H MRS study of a hibernating mammal. J. Neurochem. 101, 1505-1515.

Andrews, M.T. (2007) Advances in molecular biology of hibernation in mammals. Bioessays 29, 431-440.

Hampton, M. and Andrews, M.T. (2007) A simple mathematical molecular model of mammalian hibernation. J. Theor. Biol. 247, 297-302.

Russeth, K.P., Higgins, L., and Andrews, M.T. (2006) Identification of proteins from non-model organisms using mass spectrometry: Application to a hibernating mammal. J. Proteome Res., 5, 829-839.




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  • Last modified on July 5, 2011