Research Teams

The following lists the different faculty member with a summary of their research interest.  To learn more about the faculty double click on his/her name.

  • Nabanita Datta, Ph.D, Associate Professor, Endocrinology, Wayne State University School of Medicine. Dr. Datta has joined the Endocrine Division in 2007. Dr. Datta's research interest is bone cell biology using osteoblasts as a model to understand hormonal and paracrine control of cell cycles and the role played by the MAP kinase pathway in the anabolic response to PTH. Dr. Datta thus provide an opportunity for trainees interested in understanding bone cell differentiation, bone cell growth and bone cell function in vitro. In addition, Dr. Datta shall play a special role in the training program by coordinating a series of didactic lectures targeted to the specific need of the trainees to introduce them to methodologies and concepts used in endocrine research (see appendix). Dr. Datta's research is funded by NIDDK.
  • Hamdee Attallah, M.D., Assistant Professor, Endocrine Division, Dept of Medicine, Wayne State University School of Medicine. Diabetes and its complications are growing at a rapid pace in African Americans. Recent epidemiologic data have suggested that insulin resistance, a key component in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes, is significantly greater in African American men and women compared to Caucasian adults matched for body mass index (BMI), gender, and age. This research will focus on determining whether the diminished insulin sensitivity in Blacks versus Whites is associated with differences in regional body composition, particularly visceral adipose tissue. CT scan measurements at the L 4-5 region of the abdomen and a 3-hr insulin suppression test will be used to quantify visceral fat area and peripheral insulin sensitivity, respectively. Adipocytokines, surrogate markers for cardiovascular disease and anthropometric measurements will also be obtained. This research is funded by institutional funds.
  • James Granneman, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Psychiatry and Endocrinology; Director, The Center for Integrative Metabolic and Endocrine Research (CIMER). Dr. Grannman's laboratory is focused on the interactions among key proteins involved in lipolysis and fat cell metabolism. His laboratory utilizes molecular and biochemical methodologies to study several aspects of the biology of fat cells. These techniques include co-localization studies, trafficking and subcellular localization of the interacting proteins such as double label immunofluorescence analysis. In addition he images live 3T3-L1 adipocytes and preadipocytes transfected with Aquorea victoria-based fluorescent reporters, fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) and bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) experiments. Dr. Grannman's research provides an opportunity for trainees to develop skills in utilizing the most novel approach to study molecules within the cells by direct visualization of their movement with special application to insulin-target cells. Dr. Grannman's research is funded by NIDDK, NINDS, VA and ADA.
  • Anjan Kowluru, Ph.D., Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Endocrinology, Wayne State University School of Medicine. Dr. A. Kowluru' s laboratory is focused on the signaling mechanisms underlying glucose-stimulated insulin secretion from the islet beta cell, the contributory roles for small GTP-binding proteins (and their regulatory factors) in glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, the potential alterations in the signaling steps leading to metabolic dysfunction, apoptosis of the islet beta cell, and the signaling steps involved in cytokine-induced apoptotic demise of the beta cell, which is a model for type 1 diabetes. The laboratory utilizes a state-of-the-art biochemical, physiological, and molecular biological techniques. Dr. Kowluru has an extensive mentoring experience and very productive research. He is active members of study section and adhoc reviewers of research grants for NIDDK, ADA, JDRF and the VA. Dr. Kowluru research provides an opportunity for training in research targeted to understanding how insulin secretion become depleted during type 2 diabetes. His research is funded by NIDDK, VA and the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.
  • Reno A. Kowluru, Ph.D., Professor, Anatomy and Cell Biology and Endocrinology, Wayne State University School of Medicine. Dr. R. Kowluru's research is focused on diabetic retinopathy, which is the leading cause of acquired blindness in young adults. Hyperglycemia is considered as the main factor in its development. The research is focused on understanding the possible mechanisms whereby hyperglycemia induces retinal capillary cell death and the onset of retinopathy. The laboratory uses rodent models of type I diabetes, mice genetically modified, and retinal capillary cells in primary culture. In addition, the laboratory is investigating the mechanisms involved in the 'Metabolic memory' phenomenon that is routinely faced by diabetic patients. Metabolic memory is the continuation of the deleterious effects of poor glycemic control on the pathogenesis of retinopathy for duration after re-establishment of good glycemic control in diabetic patients. Using animal models of diabetic retinopathy, the laboratory is investigating the role of mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative modified proteins and DNA, and pro-inflammatory markers in the retinal microvasculature that could result in irreversible loss of retinal capillary cells. These projects are funded by NIH/NEI and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
  • Todd Leff, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Pathology and Endocrinology, Member, the Center of Integrative Metabolic and Endocrine Research, Wayne State University School of Medicine. Dr. Leff's research interest is the regulation of gene expression by metabolic signals. Two specific areas of focus are the nutrient-regulated PPAR transcription factors and the energy-sensing protein kinase AMPK. The PPAR project seeks to determine the mechanism by which PPAR-gamma functions to regulate whole body insulin sensitivity. The AMPK project examines the role that the kinase plays in transmitting information about metabolic status to the nucleus and the transcriptional regulatory machinery. Additional areas of interest are the suppression of diabetic cardiomyopathy by the hormone adiponectin and the effect of environmental toxicants on the expression of metabolic genes. Dr. Leff's research provides an opportunity for trainees interested in studying cellular aspect of insulin target cells and the role of key genes in insulin sensitivity and diabetes complications. Dr. Leff's research is funded by NIH/NIDDK.
  • Melissa Runge-Morris, M.D., Associate Professor, Pediatrics, Wayne State University School of Medicine. Dr. Runge-Morris' laboratory is focused on understanding the role of nuclear receptors, tissue-specific transcription factors and chromatin factors in the control of sulfotransferase gene transcription. Members of the sulfotransferase multigene family catalyze the sulfation of hormones, toxic endogenous intermediates and xenobiotic carcinogens. The sulfated end-products are generally more polar and amenable to excretion (detoxication); however, the formation of unstable sulfate esters can lead to the bioactivation of carcinogens and DNA damage (intoxication). In addition, because sulfated hormones are receptor inactive, the in situ sulfation of hormones in endocrine target tissues has the potential to influence the genesis and progression of hormone-sensitive tumors such as breast and prostate cancer. Dr. Runge-Morris' immediate goal is to define the key molecular mechanisms that regulate sulfotransferase gene transcription. Dr. Runge-Morris's research provides a training opportunity for fellows interested in molecular mechanisms regulating hormone-sensitive tissues and hormone-sensitive cancers. Dr. Runge-Morris's research is funded by NIH/NIEHS.
  • Akm Sattar, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Endocrinology, Wayne State University School of Medicine. Dr. Sattar's research is focused on understanding the mechanism of insulin signaling in target cells and the mechanism of potentiation of insulin action by adiponectin. He is studying the cellular mechanisms regulating the trafficking of the insulin receptor and the glucose transporter using cell lines and adipocytes in vitro. The role of the different phosphorylation sites and molecular domains of the insulin receptor in these processes is being analyzed. Dr.Sattar's research work is supported by institutional funds.
  • Berhane Seyoum, M.D., M.B.H., Interim Division Chief, Assistant Professor, Endocrinology, Wayne State University School of Medicine. Dr. Seyoum has graduated in 2007 from the WSU endocrine clinical fellowship program and completed an MBH degree to position himself as a translational endocrine investigator. He has worked with the CIMER group (Dr. Grannman, Leff and MacKenzie) to learn basic research in adipocyte biology and applied these technics to his research, which is focused on understanding the metabolic syndrome and its relation to regional adipocity. He is studying expression of cytokines by adipocytes of visceral fat, subcutaneous fat and those situated in-between muscle fibers.The method used to identify differences among the various adipose tissue depots is to determine the gene expression of cytokines and other proteins in the different adipose tissue depots collected from morbidly obese patients during bariatric surgery. Normal weight patients undergoing abdominal surgery are used as controls. Dr. Seyoum's status as a recent graduate of the endocrine fellowship program will place him as co-mentor for fellows interested in joining the CIMER research focus or those interested in translational clinical research. The research of Dr. Seyoum is supported by industrial funds, institutional grant and a pending NIH/K08 application.