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Adam Hughes

Adam Hughes, PhD

Languages spoken: English

Academic Information

Departments Primary - Biochemistry

Academic Office Information

Research Interests

  • Metabolism
  • Cancer
  • Aging
  • Cell Biology
  • Mitochondria
  • Lysosomes
  • Protein Quality Control
  • Nutrient Sensing

Dr. Hughes received his PhD from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 2008 and conducted his postdoctoral studies at the Fred Hutch. Dr, Hughes is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Utah. Research in the Hughes lab is focused on understanding how nutrient stress contributes to the breakdown of cellular health in aging and metabolic disease, including cancer, diabetes, and inborn errors of metabolism. Dr. Hughes’s work has been recognized by several awards, including a Helen Way Whitney Postdoc Fellowship, an NIH K99/R00, a Searle Scholars Award, an NIH MIRA, and a Glenn Award for Aging Research.

Education History

Postdoctoral Fellowship Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Postdoctoral Fellow
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Undergraduate Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Selected Publications

Journal Article

  1. Zhao S, Hughes AL, Espenshade PJ (2022). Fission yeast Dap1 heme iron-coordinating residue Y83 is required for cytochromes P450 function. MicroPubl Biol, 2022.
  2. Schuler MH, English AM, Xiao T, Campbell TJ, Shaw JM, Hughes AL (2020). Mitochondrial-derived compartments facilitate cellular adaptation to amino acid stress. Mol Cell, 81(18), 3786-3802.e13.
  3. Shakya VP, Barbeau WA, Xiao T, Knutson CS, Schuler MH, Hughes AL (2021). A nuclear-based quality control pathway for non-imported mitochondrial proteins. Elife, 10.
  4. Xiao T, Shakya VP, Hughes AL (2021). ER targeting of non-imported mitochondrial carrier proteins is dependent on the GET pathway. Life Sci Alliance, 4(3).
  5. English AM, Schuler MH, Xiao T, Kornmann B, Shaw JM, Hughes AL (2020). ER-mitochondria contacts promote mitochondrial-derived compartment biogenesis. J Cell Biol, 219(12).
  6. Schuler MH, Hughes AL (2020). OPA1 and Angiogenesis: Beyond the Fusion Function. Cell Metab, 31(5), 886-887.
  7. Hughes CE, Coody TK, Jeong MY, Berg JA, Winge DR, Hughes AL (2019). Cysteine Toxicity Drives Age-Related Mitochondrial Decline by Altering Iron Homeostasis. Cell, 180(2), 296-310.e18.
  8. English AM, Hughes AL (2019). Knowing When to Let Go: Lysosomes Regulate Inter-Mitochondrial Tethering. Dev Cell, 50(3), 259-260.
  9. Goodrum JM, Lever AR, Coody TK, Gottschling DE, Hughes AL (2019). Rsp5 and Mdm30 reshape the mitochondrial network in response to age-induced vacuole stress. Mol Biol Cell, 30(17), 2141-2154.
  10. Coody TK, Hughes AL (2018). Advancing the aging biology toolkit. Elife, 7.
  11. Shai N, Yifrach E, van Roermund CWT, Cohen N, Bibi C, IJlst L, Cavellini L, Meurisse J, Schuster R, Zada L, Mari MC, Reggiori FM, Hughes AL, Escobar-Henriques M, Cohen MM, Waterham HR, Wanders RJA, Schuldiner M, Zalckvar E (2018). Systematic mapping of contact sites reveals tethers and a function for the peroxisome-mitochondria contact. Nat Commun, 9(1), 1761.
  12. Hughes AL, Hughes CE, Henderson KA, Yazvenko N, Gottschling DE (2016). Selective sorting and destruction of mitochondrial membrane proteins in aged yeast. Elife, 5.
  13. Rutter J, Hughes AL (2015). Power(2): the power of yeast genetics applied to the powerhouse of the cell. Trends Endocrinol Metab, 26(2), 59-68.
  14. Henderson KA, Hughes AL, Gottschling DE (2014). Mother-daughter asymmetry of pH underlies aging and rejuvenation in yeast. Elife, 3, e03504.
  15. Hughes AL, Gottschling DE (2012). An early age increase in vacuolar pH limits mitochondrial function and lifespan in yeast. Nature, 492(7428), 261-5.
  16. Burg JS, Powell DW, Chai R, Hughes AL, Link AJ, Espenshade PJ (2008). Insig regulates HMG-CoA reductase by controlling enzyme phosphorylation in fission yeast. Cell Metab, 8(6), 522-31.
  17. Hughes AL, Stewart EV, Espenshade PJ (2008). Identification of twenty-three mutations in fission yeast Scap that constitutively activate SREBP. J Lipid Res, 49(9), 2001-12.
  18. Hughes AL, Lee CY, Bien CM, Espenshade PJ (2007). 4-Methyl sterols regulate fission yeast SREBP-Scap under low oxygen and cell stress. J Biol Chem, 282(33), 24388-96.
  19. Lee H, Bien CM, Hughes AL, Espenshade PJ, Kwon-Chung KJ, Chang YC (2007). Cobalt chloride, a hypoxia-mimicking agent, targets sterol synthesis in the pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus neoformans. Mol Microbiol, 65(4), 1018-33.
  20. Hughes AL, Powell DW, Bard M, Eckstein J, Barbuch R, Link AJ, Espenshade PJ (2007). Dap1/PGRMC1 binds and regulates cytochrome P450 enzymes. Cell Metab, 5(2), 143-9.
  21. Todd BL, Stewart EV, Burg JS, Hughes AL, Espenshade PJ (2006). Sterol regulatory element binding protein is a principal regulator of anaerobic gene expression in fission yeast. Mol Cell Biol, 26(7), 2817-31.
  22. Hughes AL, Todd BL, Espenshade PJ (2005). SREBP pathway responds to sterols and functions as an oxygen sensor in fission yeast. Cell, 120(6), 831-42.
  23. Warren CD, Eckley DM, Lee MS, Hanna JS, Hughes A, Peyser B, Jie C, Irizarry R, and Spencer FA (2004). S-phase checkpoint genes safeguard high-fidelity sister chromatid cohesion. Mol Biol Cell, 15, 1724-35.


  1. Espenshade PJ, Hughes AL (2007). Regulation of sterol synthesis in eukaryotes. [Review]. Annu Rev Genet, 41, 401-27.