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Immunofluorescence of mouse islet cell cultures. Green = insulin, red = bromodeoxyuridine, and blue = nuclei.

Projects

Research Projects

We have many ongoing projects in the area of diabetes and endocrinology, most of which are based on novel mouse models and culture systems. Nutrient availability and the stress response is following up on the fascinating observation that beta cells handle ER stress differently in low than high glucose. We are studying the intersection of cell cycle regulation and insulin signaling in a mouse model of type 2 diabetes, in which cell cycle molecules have the remarkable and surprising effect of improving beta cell maturation. We are evaluating the roles of the ANRIL lncRNA in human beta cell biology, using actual human islet tissue from organ donors. Projects around the critical ER chaperone GRP78 involve novel mouse models and relate to important new understanding of how to keep beta cells alive. Multiple projects are also ongoing looking at the roles of ATF6 family transcription factors in beta cell stress response and insulin secretory function.

Last Updated: January 21, 2022

We have discovered that the cellular outcome of stress depends on the local glucose concentration, and are testing an intriguing hypothesis as to how this may work.

Last Updated: January 21, 2022

We are exploring a novel fascinating connection between cyclin dependent kinases and beta cell insulin response capacity.

Last Updated: January 21, 2022

This interesting noncoding RNA is linked to T2D risk in human populations.

Last Updated: January 21, 2022

GRP78 is so important to the beta cell that mice lacking it get diabetes even before they reach weaning age.

Last Updated: January 21, 2022

We have many exciting tools and reagents to study how ATF6 promotes beta cell health and function, in live mice and in ex vivo mouse and human tissue.

Weill Cornell Medicine Alonso Lab 413 E 69th Street New York, NY 10021 Phone: 646-962-6193