Ortega Lab


The Ortega Laboratory was established in March 2021 at The Queen’s Medical Center. The lab is headed by Michael Ortega, Ph.D. and located within the University of Hawaii Tower on the campus of The Queen’s Medical Center.

The Science

Dr. Ortega’s primary research interest is in cellular stress and damage response within the scope of kidney disease.
For the past couple years, he has applied these themes while studying a unique mouse model of congenital obstructive nephropathy (CON) in collaboration with Dr. Ben Fogelgren. The work identified a robust Fn14 response, which is an alternative NF-kB signaling activator, in the CON model as well as other models of acute and chronic kidney disease. Common pathology of chronic kidney disease includes ever-worsening kidney inflammation, interstitial fibrosis, and tubular atrophy.

Ortega Lab Members

Michael Ortega, PhD

Principal Investigator
Tel: 1 (808) 691-7902
Fax: 1 (808) 691-7939
[email protected]

Former Lab Members

Jonas Nordhoff

Undergraduate Summer Researcher

Selected Publications

Exocyst inactivation in urothelial cells disrupts autophagy and activates non-canonical NF-κB

Ortega M.A., Villiger R.K.,  Harrison-Chau M., Lieu S., Tamashiro K.-K., Lee A.J., Fujimoto B.A., Patwardhan G.Y., Kepler J., Fogelgren B.
Disease Models and Mechanisms (2022). In press.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.07.05.451173  PMID: in progress

Using single-cell multiple omics approaches to resolve tumor heterogeneity.

Ortega M.A., Poirion O., Zu X., Huang S., Wolfgruber T.K., Sebra R., Garmire L.X.
Clin. Transl. Med. 6:41 (2017).
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s40169-017-0177-y  PMID: PMC574694

Presence of the paternal pronucleus assists embryo in overcoming cycloheximide induced abnormalities in zygotic mitosis.

Ortega M.A., Ko M., Marh J., Finberg A., Oshiro M., Ward W.S.
J. Cell Biochem. 117:1806 (2016).
DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1002/jcb.25480  PMID: PMC490515

ORC proteins in the mammalian zygote.

Ortega M.A., Nguyen H., Ward W.S.
Cell Tissue Res. 363:195 (2016).
DOI: 10.1007/s00441-015-2296-3   PMID: PMC4703507