Lori Sussel, PhD

Lori Sussel, PhD

 Michelle Guney, PhD   Research Instructor             I am studying the role of Ptpn2  in mediating  beta cell death in type 1 diabetes (T1D). Ptpn2 has been identified as a putative risk allele for developing T1D. Although the function of Ptpn2 has been previously studied in the immune system, it is also expressed in beta cells where it regulates apoptotic signaling pathways in response to pro-apoptotic cytokines. I am examining the role that Ptpn2 plays in mediating cell death  in vivo  in models of T1D and investigating its mechanism of action in order to uncover novel pathways which may contribute to the destruction of beta cells in T1D.

Michelle Guney, PhD

Research Instructor          

I am studying the role of Ptpn2  in mediating  beta cell death in type 1 diabetes (T1D). Ptpn2 has been identified as a putative risk allele for developing T1D. Although the function of Ptpn2 has been previously studied in the immune system, it is also expressed in beta cells where it regulates apoptotic signaling pathways in response to pro-apoptotic cytokines. I am examining the role that Ptpn2 plays in mediating cell death in vivo in models of T1D and investigating its mechanism of action in order to uncover novel pathways which may contribute to the destruction of beta cells in T1D.

 David Lorberbaum, PhD   Postdoctoral Fellow   The main goal of my project in the Sussel Lab is to better define the mechanisms that regulate pancreas development. I am currently exploring how the retinoic acid signaling pathway and Gata transcription factors work together to specify both endocrine and exocrine tissue during embryogenesis and how they maintain these functionally distinct tissues into adulthood. 

David Lorberbaum, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

The main goal of my project in the Sussel Lab is to better define the mechanisms that regulate pancreas development. I am currently exploring how the retinoic acid signaling pathway and Gata transcription factors work together to specify both endocrine and exocrine tissue during embryogenesis and how they maintain these functionally distinct tissues into adulthood. 

 Laura Hudish, PhD   Postdoctoral fellow   My project focuses on identifying and characterizing novel long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) important in the onset and progression of disease. I am currently focusing on two candidates whose expression increases significantly in diabetic mouse islets but are not normally expressed in the normal mouse islets. We hypothesize that tissue specific lncRNAs play important roles in the pathways that control specialized cell-specific functions, and that dysregulation of lncRNAs result in cellular dysfunctions that contribute to diabetes. 

Laura Hudish, PhD

Postdoctoral fellow

My project focuses on identifying and characterizing novel long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) important in the onset and progression of disease. I am currently focusing on two candidates whose expression increases significantly in diabetic mouse islets but are not normally expressed in the normal mouse islets. We hypothesize that tissue specific lncRNAs play important roles in the pathways that control specialized cell-specific functions, and that dysregulation of lncRNAs result in cellular dysfunctions that contribute to diabetes. 

 YongKyung Kim, PhD   Postdoctoral Fellow   My research focuses on the Intracellular Zinc in the beta cells. Zinc is tightly regulated, mainly bytransporters of the SLC30 (ZnT) and SLC39 (Zip) families. ZnT8 is also a major autoantigen in human T1D that is targeted by both the humoral and cellular arms of the immune system. Maintenance of optimal intracellular Zn2+ homeostasis is critical for beta cell function and survival, and reduction in ZnT8 activity leads to altered ß cell immunogenicity to adversely impact the local islet immune response.   

YongKyung Kim, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

My research focuses on the Intracellular Zinc in the beta cells. Zinc is tightly regulated, mainly bytransporters of the SLC30 (ZnT) and SLC39 (Zip) families. ZnT8 is also a major autoantigen in human T1D that is targeted by both the humoral and cellular arms of the immune system. Maintenance of optimal intracellular Zn2+ homeostasis is critical for beta cell function and survival, and reduction in ZnT8 activity leads to altered ß cell immunogenicity to adversely impact the local islet immune response.

 

 Ruth Singer, BS   Graduate Student   My thesis focuses on the lncRNA,  Pax6 Upstream Antisense RNA  ( Paupar ). Our studies have shown that within the pancreas, Paupar is expressed exclusively in the glucagon-producing alpha cells and consistent with its restricted expression, analyses of  Paupar  KO islets revealed a significant reduction in the alpha cell population compared to control islets. We aim to uncover a novel layer of regulation to better understand the mechanisms that promote pancreas development and function. 

Ruth Singer, BS

Graduate Student

My thesis focuses on the lncRNA, Pax6 Upstream Antisense RNA (Paupar). Our studies have shown that within the pancreas, Paupar is expressed exclusively in the glucagon-producing alpha cells and consistent with its restricted expression, analyses of Paupar KO islets revealed a significant reduction in the alpha cell population compared to control islets. We aim to uncover a novel layer of regulation to better understand the mechanisms that promote pancreas development and function. 

 Alex Theis, BS   Graduate Student   I am studying the role of Groucho co-repressors in development, maintenance, and function of  pancreatic islets using mouse genetic models.  I am also studying the molecular mechanism of Groucho binding and its role in transcriptional regulation in β cells.

Alex Theis, BS

Graduate Student

I am studying the role of Groucho co-repressors in development, maintenance, and function of  pancreatic islets using mouse genetic models.  I am also studying the molecular mechanism of Groucho binding and its role in transcriptional regulation in β cells.

 Nicole Moss, MS   Graduate Student   My research in the Sussel Lab focuses on the role of alternative splicing in pancreas development and β cell differentiation. Increasing evidence highlights the importance of alternative splicing for key developmental milestones and in the onset of disease. This project examines a critical component of embryogenesis previously unexplored in the pancreas and will provide novel insight into the role of alternative splicing in diabetes.  

Nicole Moss, MS

Graduate Student

My research in the Sussel Lab focuses on the role of alternative splicing in pancreas development and β cell differentiation. Increasing evidence highlights the importance of alternative splicing for key developmental milestones and in the onset of disease. This project examines a critical component of embryogenesis previously unexplored in the pancreas and will provide novel insight into the role of alternative splicing in diabetes.  

 Dylan Sarbaugh, BS   Professional Research Assistant   I am characterizing the Nk2 specific domain (SD) in the Nkx2.2 gene. Nkx2.2 is necessary for proper islet development in the pancreas as shown by previous work in the lab, however, the function of the SD domain is not known. My work is continuing to characterize this domain and its interaction with other proteins to further understand its role in pancreas development.

Dylan Sarbaugh, BS

Professional Research Assistant

I am characterizing the Nk2 specific domain (SD) in the Nkx2.2 gene. Nkx2.2 is necessary for proper islet development in the pancreas as shown by previous work in the lab, however, the function of the SD domain is not known. My work is continuing to characterize this domain and its interaction with other proteins to further understand its role in pancreas development.