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Benjamin Bikman

Associate Professor
Physiology & Developmental Biology

3017 LSB
Provo, UT 84602

Dr. Bikman’s research focus is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that mediate the disruption that causes and accompanies metabolic disorders, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and dementia. Driven by his academic training (Ph.D. in Bioenergetics and postdoctoral fellowship with the Duke-National University of Singapore in metabolic disorders), he is currently exploring the contrasting roles of insulin and ketones as key drivers of metabolic function. He frequently publishes his research in peer-reviewed journals and presents at international science meetings.

Research Interests
The focus of my lab (the Laboratory of Obesity and Metabolism) is twofold. First, we aim to identify the molecular mechanisms that explain the increased risk of disease that accompanies weight gain, with particular emphasis on the etiology of insulin resistance and disrupted mitochondrial function. Second, we hope to reveal novel cellular processes that are responsible for fat development and accrual, with a particular emphasis on white/brown fat and the contrasting effects of insulin and ketones.

Much of our recent work is focused on the pathogenicity of the hormone insulin. Insulin, while necessary for healthy living, elicits significant and harmful changes in tissue metabolic function when chronically elevated. Several projects have stemmed from this work, including a focus on the varying effects of dietary macronutrients (e.g. carbohydrates vs. fats) on insulin homeostasis, the effects of insulin on brown adipose tissue (and metabolic rate), and insulin-induced brain alterations.

We employ numerous pharmacological and genetic tools to better understand the origins and consequences of ceramide accumulation on various factors related to metabolic function, including signal transduction, substrate utilization, and energy expenditure.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Bioenergetics, East Carolina University, 2008
  • Master of Science, Exercise Physiology, Brigham Young University, 2005
  • Bachelor of Science, Exercise Science, Brigham Young University, 2003

Academic - Post-Secondary

  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Duke-National University of Singapore Medical School, 2009-2011


  • Mitochondrial Physiology Society, 2012-Present
  • The Obesity Society, 2012-Present
  • American Diabetes Association, 2011-Present
  • American Physiological Society, 2010-Present

Honors and Awards

  • Oroboros Instruments : Travel Award
  • Keystone Symposium : Travel Scholarship
  • NIH: Pre-doctoral fellowship

Courses Taught
Winter 2019

  • PDBIO 295R: Introductory Undgrad Research Section 003
  • PDBIO 365: Pathophysiology Section 001
  • PDBIO 495R: Adv Undergraduate Research Section 003
  • PDBIO 550R: Advanced Topics in PDBio Section 003
  • PDBIO 649R: Laboratory Research Section 003
  • PDBIO 699R: Master's Thesis Section 003

Fall 2018

  • PDBIO 495R: Adv Undergraduate Research Section 003
  • PDBIO 699R: Master's Thesis Section 003

Summer 2018

  • PDBIO 295R: Introductory Undgrad Research Section 003
  • PDBIO 495R: Adv Undgraduate Research Section 003
  • PDBIO 498: Advanced Senior Research Section 001
  • PDBIO 550R: Advanced Topics in PDBio Section 003

Spring 2018

  • PDBIO 295R: Introductory Undgrad Research Section 003
  • PDBIO 495R: Adv Undgraduate Research Section 003


Journal Articles

Pape JA, Newey CR, Burrell HR, Workman A, Perry K, Bikman BT, Bridgewater LC, Grose JH. 2018. Per-Arnt-Sim Kinase (PASK) Deficiency Increases Cellular Respiration on a Standard Diet and Decreases Liver Triglyceride Accumulation on a Western High-Fat High-Sugar Diet. Nutrients. 10(12).

DeMille D, Pape JA, Bikman BT, Ghassemian M, Grose JH. 2018. The Regulation of Cbf1 by PAS Kinase Is a Pivotal Control Point for Lipogenesis Versus Respiration in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Parker BA, Walton CM, Carr ST, Andrus JL, Duplisea MJ, Wilson EK, Draney C, Lathen DR, Kenner KB, Thomson DM, et al. 2018. β-Hydroxybutyrate Elicits Favorable Mitochondrial Changes in Skeletal Muscle. 19(8).

Dallon BW, Parker BA, Hodson AE, Tippetts TS, Harrison ME, Witt JE, Gibbs JL, Gray HM, Sant TM, Bikman BT. 2018. Insulin selectively reduces mitochondrial uncoupling in brown adipose tissue in mice. 475(3):561-569.

Rowley, 4th TJ, Bitner BF, Ray JD, Lathen DR, Smithson AT, Dallon BW, Plowman CJ, Bikman BT, Hansen JM, Dorenkott MR, et al. 2017. Monomeric cocoa catechins enhance β-cell function by increasing mitochondrial respiration. 49:30-41.

Lindsley J, Abali E, Bikman BT, Cline S, Fulton T, Rosenthal O, Uhley V, Weintraut R, Williams P, Wisco JJ, et al. 2017. 1. What nutrition-related knowledge, skills, and attitude should medical students develop?. Medical Science Educator. 27(4):4.

Banks CJ, Rodriguez NW, Gashler KR, Pandya RR, Mortenson JB, Whited MD, Soderblom EJ, Thompson JW, Moseley MA, Reddi AR, et al. 2017. Acylation of Superoxide Dismutase 1 (SOD1) at K122 Governs SOD1-Mediated Inhibition of Mitochondrial Respiration. 37(20).

Sampson M, Lathen DR, Dallon BW, Draney C, Ray JD, Kener KB, Parker BA, Gibbs JL, Gropp JS, Tessem JS, et al. 2017. β-Hydroxybutyrate improves β-cell mitochondrial function and survival. Journal of Insulin Resistance. 2(1):8.

Taylor OJ, Thatcher MO, Carr ST, Gibbs JL, Trumbull AM, Harrison ME, Winden DR, Pearson MJ, Tippetts TS, Holland WL, et al. 2017. High-Mobility Group Box 1 Disrupts Metabolic Function with Cigarette Smoke Exposure in a Ceramide-Dependent Manner. 18(5).

Napa K, Baeder AC, Witt JE, Rayburn ST, Miller MG, Dallon BW, Gibbs JL, Wilcox SH, Winden DR, Smith JH, et al. 2017. LPS from P. gingivalis Negatively Alters Gingival Cell Mitochondrial Bioenergetics. 2017(2697210).

Sanders NT, Dutson DJ, Durrant JW, Lewis JB, Wilcox SH, Winden DR, Arroyo JA, Bikman BT, Reynolds PR. 2017. Cigarette smoke extract (CSE) induces RAGE-mediated inflammation in the Ca9-22 gingival carcinoma epithelial cell line. 80:95-100.

Lewis JB, Hirschi KM, Arroyo JA, Bikman BT, Kooyman DL, Reynolds PR. 2017. Plausible Roles for RAGE in Conditions Exacerbated by Direct and Indirect (Secondhand) Smoke Exposure. Int J Mol Sci. 18(3):E652.

Reynolds MS, Hancock CR, Ray JD, Kener KB, Draney C, Garland K, Hardman J, Bikman BT, Tessem JS. 2016. β-Cell deletion of Nr4a1 and Nr4a3 nuclear receptors impedes mitochondrial respiration and insulin secretion. 311(1):E186-201.

Baeder AC, Napa K, Richardson ST, Taylor OJ, Andersen SG, Wilcox SH, Winden DR, Reynolds PR, Bikman BT. 2016. Oral Gingival Cell Cigarette Smoke Exposure Induces Muscle Cell Metabolic Disruption. 2016:2763160.

Hodson AE, Tippetts TS, Bikman BT. 2015. Insulin treatment increases myocardial ceramide accumulation and disrupts cardiometabolic function. 14(1):153.

Hansen ME, Simmons KJ, Tippetts TS, Thatcher MO, Saito RR, Hubbard ST, Trumbull AM, Parker BA, Taylor OJ, Bikman BT. 2015. Lipopolysaccharide Disrupts Mitochondrial Physiology in Skeletal Muscle via Disparate Effects on Sphingolipid Metabolism. Shock.

Kwon OS, Tanner RE, Barrows KM, Runtsch M, Symons JD, Jalili T, Bikman BT, McClain DA, O'Connell RM, Drummond MJ. 2015. MyD88 regulates physical inactivity-induced skeletal muscle inflammation, ceramide biosynthesis signaling, and glucose intolerance. American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism. 309(1):E11-21.

Nelson MB, Swensen AC, Winden DR, Bodine JS, Bikman BT, Reynolds PR. 2015. Cardiomyocyte mitochondrial respiration is reduced by receptor for advanced glycation end-product signaling in a ceramide-dependent manner. American Journal of Physiology - Heart Circ Physiol. 309:H63-H69.

Gibby J, Njeru D, Cvetko S, Merrill RM, Bikman BT, Gibby W. 2015. Volumetric analysis of central body fat accurately predicts incidence of diabetes and hypertension in adults. BMC Obesity. 2(1):10.

Tippetts TS, Winden DR, Swensen AC, Nelson MB, Thatcher MO, Saito RR, Condie TB, Simmons KJ, Judd AM, Reynolds PR, et al. 2014. Cigarette smoke increases cardiomyocyte ceramide accumulation and inhibits mitochondrial respiration. BMC Cardiovascular Disorders. 14(1):165.

Thatcher MO, Tippetts TS, Nelson MB, Swensen AC, Winden DR, Hansen ME, Anderson MC, Johnson IE, Porter JP, Reynolds PR, et al. 2014. Ceramides mediate cigarette smoke-induced metabolic disruption in mice. American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism. 307:E919-E927.

DeMille D, Bikman BT, Mathis AD, Prince JT, Mackay JT, Sowa SW, Hall TD, Grose JH. 2014. A comprehensive protein-protein interactome for yeast PAS kinase 1 reveals direct inhibition of respiration through the phosphorylation of Cbf1. Molecular Biology of the Cell. 25(14):2199-2215.

Hansen ME, Tippetts TS, Moulton ER, Holub ZE, Swensen AC, Prince JT, Bikman BT. 2014. Insulin Increases Ceramide Synthesis in Skeletal Muscle. Journal of Diabetes Research. 14(Article ID 765784):9.

Smith M, Tippetts T, Brassfield E, Tucker B, Ockey A, Swensen A, Anthonymuthu T, Washburn T, Kane D, Prince JT, et al. 2013. Mitochondrial fission mediates ceramide-induced metabolic disruption in skeletal muscle. Biochemical Journal. 456(3):427-39.

Erickson KA, Smith ME, Anthonymuthu TS, Brassfield ES, Tucker BJ, Prince JT, Hancock CR, Bikman BT. 2012. AICAR inhibits ceramide biosynthesis in skeletal muscle. Diabetology and Metabolic Syndrome. 4(45):1-7.

Siddique MM, Bikman BT, Wang L, Wenk MW, Summers SA. 2012. Ablation of dihydroceramide desaturase confers resistance to Etoposide-induced apoptosis in vitro. PLoS One. 7(9):e44042.

Bikman BT, Guan Y, Shui G, Mobin M S, Kim J, Wenk MR, Summers SA. 2012. Fenretinide prevents prevents lipid-induced insulin resistance by blocking ceramide biosynthesis. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 287:17426-17437.

Bikman BT. 2012. A Role for Sphingolipids in the Pathophysiology of Obesity-induced Inflammation. Cell Mol Life Sci. DOI 10.1007/s00018-012-0917-5.

Bikman BT, Summers SA. 2011. Ceramides as Modulators of Cellular and Whole-body Metabolism. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 121(11):4222-4230.

Holland WL, Bikman BT, Summers SA. 2011. Lipid-induced insulin resistance mediated by the proinflammatory receptor TLR4 requires saturated fatty acid–induced ceramide biosynthesis in mice. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 121(5):1858-1870.

Bikman BT, Summers SA. 2011. Sphingolipids and Hepatic Steatosis. Adv Exp Med Biol. 721:89-97.

Bikman BT, Dohm GL, Houmard JA. 2010. Lipid-induced insulin resistance is prevented in lean and obese myotubes with AICAR treatment. Am J Physiol Regulatory Integrative Comp Physiol. 298:R1692-R1699.

Bikman BT, Dohm GL. 2010. Metformin Improves Skeletal Muscle Insulin Signaling in Obese Rats in a Fiber-type Dependent Manner. Journal of Obesity. doi:10.1155/2010/970865.

Kane DA, Bikman BT, Neufer PD. 2010. Metformin Selectively Attenuates Mitochondrial H2O2 Emission without Affecting Respiratory Capacity in Skeletal Muscle of Obese Rats. Free Radical Biology and Medicine. 49(6):1082-1087.

Holland WL, Bikman BT, Summers SA, Scherer PE. 2010. The Pleiotropic Actions of Adiponectin are Initiated via Receptor-Mediated Activation of Neutral Ceramidase Activity. Nature Medicine. 17(1):55-63.

Bikman BT, Cortright RN. 2009. The effects of intrinsic aerobic capacity and diet on insulin signaling and IKKβ activity in rats. International Journal of Sports Medicine. 30:631-635.

Bikman BT, Dohm GL. 2008. Mechanism(s) for Improved Insulin Sensitivity After Gastric Bypass Surgery. Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism. 93:4656-4663.

Stob N, Bikman BT, Bell C. 2007. Increased Thermogenic Responsiveness to Intravenous Beta-Adrenergic Stimulation in Habitual Exercisers is Not Related to Skeletal Muscle Beta2-Adrengergic Receptor Density. Experimental Physiology. 92:8230830.

Book Chapter

Bikman BT, Summers SA. 2010. Sphingolipids and Hepatic Steatosis. , editor. Sphingolipids and Metabolic Diseases.

Magazine Article

Bikman BT, Bressler MA. 2011. Inflammation and Metabolic Syndrome.


Bikman BT. Ceramides as mediators of metabolic disruption. ACSM. Boston. 2016 .

Hodson A, Tippetts T, Bikman BT. Insulin treatment increases myocardial ceramide accumulation and disrupts cardiometabolic function. Experimental Biology. San Diego. 2016 .

Grose JH, Bikman BT, Demille D, Pattison J. The role of PAS kinase in controlling cellular respiration. Analytical Genetics. Rotorua, New Zealand. 2016 .

Grose JH, Bikman BT, DeMille D. The role of PAS kinase in controlling cellular respiration. Multifaceted Mitochondria. Chicago, Illinois. 2015 .

Bikman BT. Ceramides are Necessary for Cigarette Smoke-induced Metabolic Disruption. Experimental Biology. 2015 .

Simmons K, Hansen M, Thatcher M, Tippetts T, Bikman BT. Ceramides Mediates Metabolic Disruption with LPS Treatment in Skeletal Muscle. Experimental Biology. 2015 .

Saito R, Simmons K, Hansen M, Thatcher M, Bikman BT. LPS-induced Heart Disruption Requires Ceramides. Experimental Biology. 2015 .

Grose JH, Pattinson J, DeMille D, Bikman BT. The transcription factor centromere binding factor 1 (Cbf1) as a central point of control to upregulate mitochondrial activity and decrease lipid biogenesis in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae”. Tri-Branch ASM Meeting. Durgano, Colorado. 2015 .

Bikman BT. Mitochondrial Fission is Necessary for Ceramide-induced Metabolic Disruption. American Diabetes Association. San Francisco. 2014 .

Bikman BT. Regulators of Muscle Metabolic Function. Utah Vascular Research Laboratory Colloquium Series. Salt Lake City UT. 2013 .

Bikman BT. Mitochondrial Fission as a Mediator of Ceramide-induced Metabolic Disruption. Southwest ACSM. Newport Beach CA. 2013 .

Bikman BT, Tucker BJ. Ceramide Increases ROS Generation via Mitochondrial Fission. EB. 2013 .

Bikman BT, Thatcher MO. Ceramide Mediates Cigarette Smoke-induced Insulin Resistance. EB. 2013 .

Bikman BT, Smith ME. Mitochondrial Fission as a Mediator of Ceramide-induced Metabolic Disruption. EB. Boston. 2013 .

Bikman BT. Ceramides and Mitochondrial Function. O2K - High Resolution Respirometry. Schroecken, Austria. 2012 .

Bikman BT, Erickson KA, Smith ME. AICAR inhibits ceramide biosynthesis in skeletal muscle. Integrative Biology of Exercise. Westminster, CO. 2012 .

Bikman BT. Dihydroceramide desaturase inhibition prevents ceramide accumulation and improves insulin sensitivity. FASEB Summer Conference - Glucose Transporters, Signaling, and Diabetes. Keystone Colorado. 2011 .

Bikman BT. Fenretinide improves insulin sensitivity by inhibiting dihydroceramide desaturase and preventing ceramide accumulation. Lipid Biology and Lipotoxicity. Killarney Ireland. 2011 .

Bikman BT. Fenretinide improves insulin sensitivity by inhibiting dihydroceramide desaturase and preventing ceramide accumulation. Type 2 Diabetes, insulin resistance, and metabolic function. Keystone Colorado. 2011 .