Postdoctoral Fellow in Diabetes and Pancreatic Islet Biology
Seeking a highly motivated postdoc interested in diabetes research and pancreatic islet hormone secretion. The focus is on understanding the mechanisms that influence pancreatic islet calcium homeostasis and hormone secretion under physiological and diabetic conditions. The Jacobson lab utilized cutting edge approaches on primary pancreatic islets and cell lines derived from islets to monitor islet-cell function. These approaches include electrophysiology, molecular biology, fluorescent microscopy (both epifluorescent and confocal), biochemistry, virus expression of genetically encoded indicators for calcium and membrane potential, and transgenic mouse models. These approaches are currently utilized in many innovative projects that assess how pancreatic cell-types respond to secretagogues and modulate glucose homeostasis, which are well suited for a postdoc to complete in the near future.
The Jacobson lab identifies how ion channels contribute to cytoplasmic and organelle calcium handling in pancreatic islets; the pancreatic cell-types currently being investigated include alpha-cells, beta-cells, delta-cells and peri-islet Schwann cells. For example, we have recently discovered that two-pore-domain potassium (K2P) channels provide a countercurrent for endoplasmic reticulum (ER) calcium release from pancreatic islet-cells. This was accomplished by utilizing genetically encoded calcium indicators to monitor cytoplasmic and ER calcium handling in control islet-cells as well as those with knockdown or genetic ablation of K2P channels. Importantly, we determined that K2P modulation of ER calcium release controls the ER stress response and tunes the ability of pancreatic islet-cells to respond to the stressful conditions associated with diabetes. This research has opened a new field of research that is perfectly suited for a postdoctoral fellow to take over, which will determine if K2P channels can be utilized as cell selective therapeutic targets to reduce ER stress and limit the pathogenesis of diabetes.
If you are interested in learning more about the Jacobson Lab research areas please contact David Jacobson at firstname.lastname@example.org and see www.mc.vanderbilt.edu/jacobsonlab.