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Hoenig, Margarethe Elisabeth

Professor, Veterinary Clinical Medicine

Address and Contact Information

1008 W. Hazelwood Drive
Small Animal Clinic
M/C 004
Urbana, IL  61802


  • PhD, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 1984
  • DVM, (equivalent), Tierarzt, Tierärztliche Hochschule, Hannover, Germany, 1975
  • Dr med vet, Tierärztliche Hochschule, Hannover, Germany, 1976


Dr. Hoenig received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree and the degree of from the Tierärztliche Hochschule, Hannover, Germany. After working for 1 year in private mixed animal practice, she completed a small animal rotating internship at the University of California at Davis, followed by a residency in small animal medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. She worked for one year as clinical instructor at the University of Pennsylvania before she began her PhD work in the Diabetes Center, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the Medical School of the same University. Her focus was the study of insulin secretion in isolated islets and its regulation. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Pharmacology at Cornell University, also focused on islet biology and regulation of insulin secretion. From 1986 to 2008 she was a professor in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology and Small Animal Medicine at the University of Georgia. Since 2008 she has been a professor of Veterinary Clinical Medicine at the University of Illinois.

Teaching Statement

Teaching is about the students. They need to be supported and challenged so that they can reach their full potential.

Courses Taught

  • Structure and Function II
  • Comp Clinical Pharmacology
  • Advances In Vet Internal Med
  • Study Abroad Germany
  • International Veterinary Medicine
  • Systems Toxicology
  • Pharmacology I
  • Pharmacology II
  • Clinical Practice I
  • Structure and Function I
  • Contemporary Issues in Veterinary Medicine

Research Interests

Dr. Hoenig's main interest is in insulin secretion and action. She has worked intensively with cats whose risk of becoming diabetic increases with obesity. Cats are therefore an excellent model to study the processes involved in the development of both diseases. She is also interested in thyroid disease of dogs and cats.

Other Campus Affiliations

  • Division of Nutritional Sciences
  • EU Center

Current Projects

Development of novel assays in cats; identification of markers indicating progression to diabetes in obese cats; pathophysiology of obesity in cats.

Past Projects

Use of NMR to examine hepatic glucose and lipid metabolism in cats; pathophysiology of obesity in cats


  • Evaluation of oxidative stress in obese cats
  • Several grants involving the evaluation of novel endocrine drugs in dogs and cats

Honors and Awards

  • Pfizer Award for Research Excellence, 1998
  • President, Society for Comparative Endocrinology 1999-2007
  • Vice President, Society for Comparative Endocrinology, 2007 to 2011

Selected Publications

  • Hoenig M, Thomaseth K, Brandao J, Waldron M, Ferguson DC. Assessment and mathematical modeling of glucose turnover and insulin sensitivity in lean and obese cats. Dom Anim Endocrinol. 31: 573-589, 2006.
  • Hoenig M, Thomaseth K, Waldron M, Ferguson DC. Insulin sensitivity, fat distribution and adipocytokine response to different diets in lean, and obese cats before and after weight loss. Am. J. Physiol., 292: R227 - R234, 2007.
  • Hoenig M, Thomaseth K, Waldron M, Ferguson DC. Fatty acid turnover, substrate oxidation, and heat production in lean and obese cats during the euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp. Dom Anim Endocrinol. 32: 329-338, 2007
  • Ferguson DC, Caffall Z, Hoenig M. Obesity increases free thyroxine proportionally to nonesterified fatty acid concentrations in adult neutered female cats Journal of Endocrinology (2007) 194 , 267-273.
  • Hoenig M, Caffall Z, Ferguson DC. Triiodothyronine differentially regulates key metabolic factors in lean and obese cats. Dom. Anim. Endocrinol., 34: 229-237, 2008.
  • Kley S, Caffall Z, Tittle E, Ferguson DC, Hoenig M. Development of a Feline Proinsulin Immunoradiometric Assay and a Feline Proinsulin Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay (ELISA): A novel application to examine beta cell function in cats. Dom. Anim. Endocrinol., 34: 311-318, 2008.
  • Jaso-Friedmann L, Leary III JH, Praveen K, Waldron M, Hoenig, M. T he effects of obesity and fatty acids on the feline immune system. J. Vet. Immunol. Immunopathol., 122(1-2):146-52 2008.
  • Jordan E, Kley S, Le N-A, Waldron M, Hoenig M. Dyslipidemia in obese cats. Dom. Animal. Endocrinol. 35: 290-9, 2008.
  • Kley S, Hoenig M, Glushka J, Jin ES, Burgess SC, Waldron M, Jordan ET, Prestegard JH, Ferguson DC, Wu S, Olson DE. The impact of obesity, sex, and diet on hepatic glucose production in cats Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 296: R936-R943, 2009.
  • Hoenig M, Jordan, ET, Ferguson, DC, DeVries, F. Oral glucose leads to a differential response in glucose, insulin, and GLP-1 in lean versus obese cats. Domest. Anim. Endocrinol., 38: 95-102, 2009.
  • Additional Publications

Professional Affiliations

  • American Diabetes Association
  • European Association for the Study of Diabetes
  • Society for Comparative Endocrinology

Service Activities

  • Editorial Board: J. Feline Med. Surgery
  • Editorial Board: J. Int. Vet. Med
  • College Coordinator of International Activities

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