Academic Research Programs
Raymond D. Blind, Ph.D., http://www.blindlab.org
Maureen Anne Gannon, Ph.D., https://medsites.mc.vanderbilt.edu/gannonlab/gannon-lab
Fiona E. Harrison, Ph.D., http://www.mc.vanderbilt.edu/root/vumc.php?site=fionaharrisonlab
James M. May, M.D., http://www.mc.vanderbilt.edu/root/vumc.php?site=jamesmaylab
Kevin Dean Niswender, M.D., Ph.D., https://medschool.vanderbilt.edu/kd-niswender-lab
Alvin C. Powers, M.D., https://www.powersresearch.org
John M. Stafford, M.D., Ph.D., https://medsites.mc.vanderbilt.edu/staffordlab/home
Powers Lab (Alvin C. Powers, M.D)
The purpose of our research is to understand how glucose stimulates insulin secretion by pancreatic islet cells and to characterize and reverse abnormalities in this process that are present in diabetes. Insulin secretion by pancreatic islets is very tightly coupled to changes in the blood glucose; abnormalities in insulin secretion are a major factor in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Our research utilizes research approaches such as RNA and protein analysis, genetically modified mice, in vivo physiology, radioimmunoassay, adenovirus mediated gene transfer, transplantation of murine and human islets, confocal microscopy, and immunocytochemistry and involves collaborations with vascular biologists, development biologists, biomedical engineers, and transplant biologists.
Gannon Lab (Maureen Gannon, Ph.D.)
The pancreas is essential for normal digestion and maintenance of blood sugar levels. It is composed of an exocrine compartment, made up of acinar and ductal cells that secrete and transport digestive enzymes, as well as an endocrine compartment (the Islets of Langerhans), made up of alpha cells that produce glucagon, beta cells that produce insulin, delta cells that produce somatostatin, and PP cells that produce pancreatic polypeptide.
We study the role of genes and signaling pathways involved in the development and function of specific cell types within the pancreas.