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Basic Science Research in Endocrinology

Basic Research in Diabetes

There are several collaborative studies on the newer forms of stable and ultra-fast insulin molecules with the Department and Michael Weiss, MD in the Department of Biochemistry, Indiana University. In addition, Faramarz Ismail-Beig, MD, is conducting metabolic studies in animals to test the potency of newer formulations of insulin synthesized to be stable at extreme temperatures. The goal is to extend these studies to involve humans once the animal studies are complete.

Research on the Regulation of Golgi and its to Human Pathophysiology

The recent recruitment of Seth Field, MD, through the Harrington Discovery Institute has created a major area of basic research that overlaps with several other departments, including the Cancer Center. Dr. Field's research focuses on the function of the Golgi apparatus within the cell and the mechanisms involved in trafficking secretory products to the cell's plasma membrane. Such mechanisms are usually amplified in cancer cells and some endocrine disorders, and therefore, understanding these mechanisms has the potential to explore newer therapeutic benefits in these disorders. In earlier studies, Dr. Field discovered cellular machinery involved in vesicle budding from the Golgi for secretory trafficking to the plasma membrane. Many of the components of this machinery have been identified as cancer drivers in human cancers, frequently amplified and overexpressed in a wide variety of human cancers, and appear to represent molecular vulnerabilities for many cancers. The Field laboratory is discovering mechanisms of oncogenic transformation by the Golgi secretory machinery, a better understanding of its regulation, and its relationship with other known oncogenic pathways.

Furthermore, the lab is developing small molecule inhibitors of the Golgi secretory machinery as an approach to novel cancer therapeutics with the mechanism of action orthogonal to all current therapeutic approaches. The research will likely lead to discoveries related to many endocrine diseases. Such findings can potentially lead to newer approaches to understanding many diseases and the ability to explore new therapeutic options.