Diabetes Research Program
As the incidence of both types 1 and 2 diabetes rises in the United States and throughout the world, the risk of the devastating complications soars as well. Diabetes is a leading cause of heart attacks, strokes, blindness, kidney failure and amputations. The vast morbidity and mortality exacted by the disease cause considerable loss of quality of life and are a major burden to the health care system. Our laboratory group is focused on the study of the biochemical and molecular mechanisms that underlie the complications of diabetes, particularly the links between hyperglycemia, inflammation and diabetic tissue damage. We focus on key molecules linked to diabetes, such as aldose reductase, Protein Kinase C-β, receptor for AGE (RAGE) and its cytoplasmic domain binding partner, diaphanous 1 or mDia1. Our research team uses a variety of techniques to address these concepts experimentally, from animal models of diabetes to gene regulation studies in cultured cells. Our goal is to transform basic science discoveries into validated targets for therapeutic intervention in diabetes and its complications.