Dr. Michael De Lisio

Dr. Michael De Lisio
Dr. Michael De Lisio
Cross-Appointed Member, Associate Professor

BSc (Hons). Life Sciences, Queen’s University
PhD Kinesiology, McMaster University
Postdoctorate Molecular Muscle Physiology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Roger Guindon Hall, room 2058
613-562-5800 ext. 6987


Dr. De Lisio is a molecular exercise physiologist with a particular interest in stem cell biology.  These research interests are derived from doctoral training in Kinesiology at McMaster University under the supervision of Dr. Gianni Parise, and his postdoctoral training in molecular muscle physiology at the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  During his doctoral training, Dr. De Lisio undertook the first studies examining the effects of exercise on bone marrow stem cells, and discovered that exercise protects bone marrow-derived cells from a high dose of radiation, and enhances recovery from bone marrow transplantation. His postdoctoral training, focused on the molecular interactions between muscle-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) and myogenic stem cells with aging and exercise.  These collaborative projects resulted in Dr. De Lisio being awarded prestigious fellowships to support his doctoral and postdoctoral research, as well as several peer-reviewed publications.  Following completion of his training, Dr. De Lisio established the Exercise and Stem Cell Physiology Lab (ESC Lab) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he held an Assistant Professor position from 2013-2016 prior to moving his lab to the University of Ottawa in 2016.  The mission of the laboratory is to optimize endogenous stem cell populations through lifestyle modifications to maintain tissue regenerative capacity throughout the lifespan. Work in the ESC lab is focused on answering two main questions: (1) What are the external cues that regulate the cellular composition of the stem cell microenvironment, and (2) How do changes in the cellular composition of the stem cell niche regulate stem cell function?  To answer these questions, the ESC lab takes an interdisciplinary, man to molecule approach combining in vitro, animal, and human models, and applies techniques from molecular biology to systems physiology.

Research interests

  • Cellular and molecular exercise physiology
  • Stem cell biology
  • Cancer and cancer therapy
  • Obesity

Ongoing research

Current projects in the ESC lab are focused on the contributions of exercise and obesity in modifying complications from radiation therapy, the role of muscle stem cells in cachexia, and the mechanisms responsible for exercise-induced stem cell mobilization.  These projects are supported by federal, foundation, and industry funds.


  • Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology
  • American College of Sports Medicine
  • American Physiological Society

 Selected publications

  • Beals JW, Sukiennik RA, Nallabelli J, Emmons RS, van Vliet S, Young JR, Ulanov AV, Zhong L, Paluska SA, De Lisio M, and Burd N. Anabolic sensitivity of postprandial muscle protein synthesis to the ingestion of a protein-dense meal is reduced with greater adiposity in young adults. (In Press). American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
  • Pincu Y, Huntsman HD, Zou K, De Lisio M, Mahmassani ZS, Munroe MR, Garg K, Jensen T, and Boppart MD.  Diet-induced obesity regulates adipose-resident stromal cell quantity and extracellular matrix gene expression. (2016). Stem Cell Research. PMID: 27399175.
  • Niemiro GM, Raine LB, Khan NA, Emmons R, Little J, Kramer AF, Hillman CH, and De Lisio M.  Circulating progenitor cells are positively associated with cognitive function among overweight/obese children. (2016). Brain Behavior Immunity. PMID: 27132057.
  • Emmons R, Niemiro GM, and De Lisio M. Exercise as an adjuvant therapy for hematopoietic stem cell mobilization. (2016). Stem Cells International. PMID: 27123008.
  • Safdar A, Khrapko K, Flynn JM, Saleem A, De Lisio M, Johnston AP, Kratysberg Y, Samjoo IA, Kitaoka Y, Ogborn DI, Little JP, Raha S, Parise G, Akhtar M, Hettinga BP, Rowe GC, Arany Z, Prolla TA, and Tarnopolsky MA. Exercise-induced mitochondrial p53 repairs mtDNA mutations in mutator mice. (2016). Skeletal Muscle. eCollection. PMID: 26834962.
  • Emmons R, Niemiro G, Owolabi O, and De Lisio M. Acute exercise mobilizes hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells and alters the mesenchymal stromal cell secretome. (2016). J. Appl. Physiol. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 26744505.
  • Farup J, De Lisio M, Rahbek SK, Vendelbo MH, Boppart MD, and Vissing K. Stem cell content in human skeletal muscle is influenced by resistance exercise contraction mode, but not protein supplementation. (2015). J. Appl. Physiol. 119(10):1053-63. PMID: 26404620.
  • De Lisio M, Farup J, Sukiennik RA, Clevenger N, Nallabelli J, Nelson B, Ryan K, Rahbek SK, de Paoli F, Vissing K, and Boppart MD. The acute response of pericytes to muscle-damaging eccentric contraction and protein supplementation in human skeletal muscle.  (2015). J. Appl. Physiol. 11(8)900-7. PMID: 26205545.
  • Zou K, Huntsman HD, Valero MC, Adams J, Skelton J, De Lisio M, Jensen T and Boppart MD.  Mesenchymal stem cells augment the adaptive response to eccentric exercise.  (2015). Med Sci Sports Exerc, 47(2):315-25.  PMID: 24905768
  • Zou K*, De Lisio M*, Huntsman HD, Pincu Y, Mahmassani Z, Miller M, Olatunbosun D, Jensen T, Boppart MD.  (2014). Laminin-111 improves skeletal muscle stem cell quantity and function following eccentric exercise.  Stem Cells Transl Med. (9):1013-22.  PMID: 25015639.  *These authors contributed equally to this work.
  • De Lisio M, Jensen T, Sukiennik RA, Huntsman HD and Boppart MD.  Substrate and strain alter the muscle-derived mesenchymal stem cell secretome to promote myogenesis. (2014). Stem Cell Research & Therapy, 5(3):74.  PMID: 24906706
  • Graf BW, Bower AJ, Chaney EJ, Marjanovic M, Adie SG, De Lisio M, Valero MC, Boppart MD, Boppart SA. (2014). In vivo multimodal microscopy for detecting bone marrow-derived cell contribution to skin regeneration. J Biophotonics, 7(1-2):96-102. PMID: 23401460
  • Boppart MD, De Lisio M, Zou K and Huntsman HD. (2013).  Defining a role for mesenchymal stem cells in muscle repair following exercise. Frontiers in Physiology, 4:310. PMID: 24204344.
  • Graf BW, Chaney EJ, Marjanovic M, Adie SG, De Lisio M, Valero MC, Boppart MD and Boppart SA. (2013). Long-term time-lapse multimodal intravital imaging of regeneration and bone marrow-derived cell dynamics in skin. Technology. DOI: 10.1142/S2339547813500027.
  • Graf BW, Chaney EJ, Marjanovic M, De Lisio M, Valero MC, Boppart MD and Boppart SA. (2013). In vivo imaging of immune cell dynamics in skin in response to zinc-oxide nanoparticle exposure. Biomedical Optics Express, 4(10):1817-28. PMID: 24156046.
  • De Lisio M and Parise G. (2013). Exercise and hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells: protection, quantity and function. Exerc Sport Sci Rev, 41(2):116-22. PMID: 23364348.
  • Huntsman HD, Zachwieja N, Zou K, Ripchick P, Valero MC, De Lisio M and Boppart MD. (2013). Mesenchymal stem cells contribute to vascular growth in skeletal muscle in response to eccentric exercise. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol, 304(1):H72-81. PMID: 23280781.
  • De Lisio M, Baker JM and Parise G. (2012). Exercise promotes bone marrow cell survival and recipient reconstitution post-bone marrow transplantation which is associated with increased survival. Exp Hematol. 41(2): 143-54. PMID: 23063724.
  • De Lisio M and Parise G. (2012). Characterization of the effects of exercise training on hematopoietic stem cell quantity and function. J Appl Physiol. 113(10):1576-84. PMID: 23019311.
  • Phan N, De Lisio M, Parise G and Boreham DR. (2012). Biological effects and adaptive response from single and repeated computed tomography scans in C57Bl/6 mice. Radiation Res, 177(2):164-75. PMID: 22059980.

For a complete list of publications please see:

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Research interests

  • Molecular Exercise Physiology
  • Regenerative Medicine
  • Stem cell biology
  • Cancer
  • Obesity