University of Vermont

College of Medicine

Department of Medicine

Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism

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Peshavaria Lab Research

Research in our group is focused on studies of ß-cell compensatory mechanisms involving intracellular signal transduction pathways that target islet transcription factors and how defects in these pathways are associated with Type 2 diabetes. Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are characterized by insulin deficiency and reduced pancreatic ß-cell mass, the latter regulated by insulin and glucose signaling pathways.

Current studies are focused on two key islet transcription factors, Pdx1, a MODY4 gene and playing critical roles in ß-cell mass regulation and function, and the forkhead transcription factor, Foxo1 a negative regulator of ß-cell mass. Foxo1 is a downstream target of the serine/threonine Akt/PKB kinase whereas Pdx1 has been postulated to be negatively regulated by Foxo1. Using biochemical and molecular biology methods, transgenic and knockout mice, superimposed with pancreatectomy and hepatectomy surgery, we study how these factors interact with signal transduction pathways to impact compensatory ß-cell growth. Ongoing projects in our group are

Resolving the role and gene copy dosage of Pdx1 in ß-cell mass maintenance and compensation under physiological conditions and in response to a regeneration stimulus.

Examine the role of Foxo1 and underlying mechanisms of ß-cell compensation and determine its role in islet a- and ß-cell fate during embryonic pancreas development.

Characterizing double heterozygote Pdx1 and Foxo1 mice to elucidate the crosstalk between these proteins during ß-cell regeneration.

Last modified April 13 2016 12:08 PM