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Photo of Kineman, Rhonda

Rhonda Kineman, PhD


Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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  • Co-Chair of the UIC Department of Medicine, Junior Faculty Advancement Committee
  • Member of the Department of Medicine Appointment, Promotion and Tenure Committee
  • Chair of the VA IACUC Committee


2019-2023                   NIH R01 DK116878              Kineman (PI)

Title: Hormonal regulation of liver metabolism

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is associated with an increased flow of lipids from the periphery to the liver, as well as an increase in the ability of the liver to make new lipids from glucose (de novo lipogenesis,

DNL). Obesity/NAFLD is associated with low levels of circulating growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I). Our preliminary data demonstrate that a liver-specific loss of the GH receptor in mice increases DNL and enhances the capacity of the liver to accumulate fat, ultimately leading to liver injury. Therefore, GH works directly on the liver to control excess fat accumulation and protect the liver from damage. Given the translational relevance of our findings, studies are proposed to determine the molecular and biochemical pathways that are regulated by GH to control liver specific lipid production and accumulation, which could represent future drug targets to prevent and treat NAFLD.


2019-2023                   VA Merit BL&RD BX004448-01      Kineman (PI)

Title: Hormonal control of NASH development and progression

Studies focus on how GH, working through JAK2/Stat5b signaling, protects the liver from diet induced obesity-associated nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).  These studies will use unique mouse models of adult-onset manipulation of hepatic GH signaling and IGF-I production to determine the direct (hepatocyte) versus extra-hepatocyte processes by which GH regulates liver injury and repair. This information can be used to unveil novel targets to develop drugs that can treat NASH.

2018-2022                   VA Merit Award RR&D, Regenerative Medicine RX002636-01A2

Kineman (PI)/Timothy J. Koh (Co-PI; UIC Dept. of Kinesiology and Nutrition)

Title: Low intensity vibration to improve healing of chronic wounds.

Novel approaches are required to improve perfusion and healing of chronic wounds associated with diabetes or spinal cord injury. In the proposed studies, we will determine the potential for low-intensity vibration (LIV) to serve as a simple, safe, low-cost and non-invasive treatment for enhancing tissue perfusion and wound healing through augmentation of IGF-I production and signaling.


Mercedes del Rio Moreno, PhD – Dr. del Rio Moreno earned her PhD at the University of Cordoba, Spain and is currently a Post-Doctoral Research Associate studying the role of GHR/Jak2/Stat5 in protecting the liver against injury.

Mari del Carmen Vazquez-Borrego, PhD – Dr. Vazquez-Borrego earned her PhD at the University of Cordoba, Spain and is currently a Post-Doctoral Research Associate studying molecular and biochemical mechanisms by which GH regulates hepatocyte carbohydrate and lipid metabolism.

Mariyah Mahmood – Ms. Mahmood received her BS from UIC, 2019 and is currently working as a Research Technologist and plans to attend medical school in 2021.

Adam Saleh – Mr. Saleh is a Junior, UIC College of Nursing and is working as a Research Assistant to gain experience in basic biomedical research


1979 – 1982 Bachelor of Science, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
1983 – 1985 Master of Science, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
1985 – 1988 PhD, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
1988 – 1994 Post-Doctoral Research Training, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC