Michelle Law, PhD, RD

Michelle Law, PhD, RD
Assistant Professor in Nutrition Sciences
High Res Photo

Assistant Professor in Nutrition Sciences  

Research Area:

  • Cancer cachexia
  • Cardiac dysfunction
  • Metabolism
  • Calcium handling

The overarching goal of my research is to identify mechanisms and potential therapeutic strategies for cancer cachexia. Cachexia, a muscle and adipose wasting syndrome, significantly decreases both quality and length of life in patients suffering from advanced cancers. Currently, my focus is to elucidate mechanisms of cardiac muscle dysfunction in cachexia and how decreased cardiac performance may contribute to cachexia pathogenesis. I work with an animal model of cachexia and employ techniques in physiology, molecular biology, and biochemistry to measure heart function and identify changes in protein and gene expression that contribute to functional changes. I am particularly interested in the role of altered calcium handling and metabolism in the progression of cardiac dysfunction in cachexia.


  • NUTR 2351: Nutrition
  • NUTR 4387: Advanced Nutrition
  • NUTR 5355: Macronutrients and Metabolism
  • NUTR 5356: Micronutrients and Phytochemicals


Law ML, Metzger JM. Cardiac myocyte intrinsic contractility and calcium handling deficits underlie heart organ dysfunction in murine cancer cachexia. Scientific Reports 2021;11:23627.

Law ML, Cohen H, Martin AA, Angulski ABB, Metzger JM. Dysregulation of calcium handling in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy-associated dilated cardiomyopathy: mechanisms and experimental therapeutic strategies. Journal of Clinical Medicine 2020;9:E520.

Law ML, Prins KW, Olander ME, Metzger JM. Exacerbation of dystrophic cardiomyopathy by phospholamban deficiency-mediated chronically increased cardiac Ca2+ cycling in vivo. American Journal of Physiology – Heart and Circulatory Physiology 2018;315:H1544-H1552. 

Asp ML, Sjaastad FV, Siddiqui JK, Davis JP, Metzger JM. Effects of modified parvalbumin EF-hand motifs on cardiac myocyte contractile function. Biophysical Journal 2016;110:2094-105. 

Prins KW, Asp ML, Zhang H, Wang W, Metzger JM. Microtubule-mediated misregulation of junctophilin-2 underlies T-tubule disruptions and increased calcium sparks in mdx mice. Journal of the American College of Cardiology Basic to Translational Science 2016;1:122-30.

Wang W, Asp ML, Guerrero-Serna G, Metzger JM. Differential effects of S100 proteins A2 and A6 on cardiac Ca2+cycling and contractile performance. Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology 2014;72C:117-25. 

Asp ML, Martindale JJ, Metzger JM. Direct, differential effects of tamoxifen, 4-hydroxytamoxifen, and raloxifene on cardiac myocyte contractility and calcium handling. PLoS One 2013;8(10):e78768.

Wang W, Barnabei MS, Asp ML, Heinis FI, Arden E, Davis J, Braunlin E, Li Q, Davis JP, Potter JD, Metzger JM. Noncanonical EF-hand motif strategically delays Ca2+ buffering to enhance cardiac performance. Nature Medicine2013;19:305-12. 

Asp ML, Martindale JJ, Heinis FI, Wang W, Metzger JM. Calcium mishandling in diastolic dysfunction: Mechanisms and potential therapies. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 2013;1833:895-900. 

Asp ML, Richardson JR, Collene AL, Droll KR, Belury MA. Dietary protein and beef consumption predict for markers of muscle mass and nutrition status in older adults. Journal of Nutrition Health & Aging 2012;16:784-90. 

Asp ML, Tian M, Kliewer KL, Belury MA. Rosiglitazone delayed weight loss and anorexia while attenuating adipose depletion in mice with cancer cachexia. Cancer Biology & Therapy 2011;12:957-65. 

Tian M, Asp ML, Nishuima Y, Belury MA. Evidence for cardiac atrophic remodeling in cancer-induced cachexia in mice. International Journal of Oncology 2011;39:1321-6. 

Asp ML, Collene AL, Norris LE, Cole RM, Stout MB, Tang SY, Hsu JC, Belury MA. Time-dependent effects of safflower oil to improve glycemia, inflammation and blood lipids in obese, post-menopausal women with type 2 diabetes: A randomized, double-masked, crossover study. Clinical Nutrition 2011;4:443-9. 

Tian M, Kliewer KL, Asp ML, Stout MB, Belury MA. c9t11-Conjugated linoleic acid-rich oil fails to attenuate wasting in colon-26 tumor-induced late-stage cachexia in male CD2F1 mice. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research2011;55:268-77. 

Tian M, Nishijima Y, Asp ML, Stout MB, Reiser PJ, Belury MA. Cardiac alterations in cancer-induced cachexia in mice. International Journal of Oncology 2010;37:347-53.

Asp ML, Tian M, Wendel AA, Belury MA. Evidence for the contribution of insulin resistance to the development of cachexia in tumor-bearing mice. International Journal of Cancer 2010;126:756-63.  

Norris LE, Collene AL, Asp ML, Hsu JC, Liu LF, Richardson JR, Li D, Bell D, Osei K, Jackson RD, Belury MA. Comparison of dietary conjugated linoleic acid with safflower oil on body composition in obese postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes mellitus. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2009;90:468-76. 

Asp ML, Hertzler SR, Chow J, Wolf BW.  Gamma-cyclodextrin lowers postprandial glycemia and insulinemia without carbohydrate malabsorption in healthy adults. Journal of the American College of Nutrition 2006;25:49-55.