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Diabetes Section

Josephine Egan, MD, Chief

Chee Chia, MD, Associate Research Physician

Type 2 diabetes mellitus and the identification of new targets for its treatment are the focus of this Section as it relates to drug discovery and development. Dr. Egan has identified the GLP-1 receptor as a promising target as an insulinotropic agent. In the past Dr. Egan has shown in preclinical and clinical study that the GLP-1 receptor ligand exendin-4 may provide a new approach for the treatment of Type II diabetes mellitus. This work has provided the scientific basis, both preclinical and clinical, that has made this therapeutic target and drug attractive to the private sector, where it is now in later stages of clinical development. The present focus is the study of the mechanisms of the release of enteric peptides that modulate insulin release, and an in-depth study of one of the peptides, GIP, and its receptor, to further understand the role of insulinotropic treatments for type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Portfolio/Research Areas

  • Cell Biology/Cell Signaling
  • Clinical Research
  • Epidemiology/Population Sciences

Findings and Publications

Calvo SS, Egan JM. The endocrinology of taste receptors. Nat Rev Endocrinol. 2015;11(4):213-27.

Elahi D, Ruff DA, Carlson OD, Meneilly GS, Habener JF, Egan JM. Does GLP-1 suppress its own basal secretion? Endocr Res. 2016;41(1):16-20.

Yang H, Cong WN, Yoon JS, Egan JM. Vismodegib, an antagonist of hedgehog signaling, directly alters taste molecular signaling in taste buds. Cancer Med. 2015;4(2):245-52.

Chia CW, Odetunde JO, Kim W, Carlson OD, Ferrucci L, Egan JM. GIP contributes to islet trihormonal abnormalities in type 2 diabetes. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014;99(7):2477-85.

Egan JM, Chia CW. Incretin therapy and pancreatic pathologies: background pathology versus drug-induced pathology in rats. Diabetes. 2014;63(4):1174-8.