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DRC Announces New Faculty Members

We are delighted to announce that three new faculty will be joining the FOE Diabetes Research Center this Summer:

Yumi Imai, M.D., will join the FOEDRC as an Associate Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism.  Dr. Imai is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Division Chief at East Virginia Medical School.   She brings a wealth of knowledge and more than 20 years of experience in endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism.  Dr. Imai is a talented mid-career investigator who is RO1 funded. Her research focus is on the way in which obesity and fat accumulation in the pancreas reduces the function of beta cells leading to reduced insulin secretion.  Dr. Imai’s recruitment will strategically establish a beta cell biology program within the FOEDRC.  Her clinical expertise will complement existing programs and will address the increasing demands for clinical endocrine services at UIHC and the FOEDRC.  Dr. Imai will join our faculty on August 31.

Brian T. O’Neill, M.D., Ph.D., comes the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism as an Assistant Professor,  from his positions as an Instructor of Medicine and Clinical Endocrinologist at the Joslin Diabetes Center/Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) at Harvard Medical School.  There, he investigated mechanisms by which insulin signaling regulates the function and mass of skeletal muscle. He received his MD and PhD degree from the University of Utah School of Medicine, and completed his residency and an Endocrine Fellowship at BIDMC. Dr. O’Neill is currently interested in the metabolic complications and dysregulation of muscle physiology that occur in obesity and diabetes, and the impact of diabetes and insulin resistance on protein turnover and mitochondrial metabolism.  Dr. O’Neill joined our faculty on June 30.

Sam Stephens, Ph.D., has been appointed as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism beginning August 31.  Dr. Stephens is a Senior Research Associate at Duke University Medical Center where he investigated factors that regulate pancreatic islet beta-cell function and survival.  His recent studies have provided novel insight into the biological significance of VGF a novel hormone derived peptide that is  produced within islet β-cells. As a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Chris Newgard he identified the VGF derived peptide TLQP-21 as a physiological mediator of insulin secretion and demonstrated its direct therapeutic applicability in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes in a rodent model. His work has provided strong evidence that additional VGF peptides play vital roles in regulating beta-cell identity and function. Dr. Stephen’s recruitment will also bring pancreatic beta cell expertise to the FOEDRC.

Join me in welcoming these outstanding new colleagues.

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The Fraternal Order of Eagles, an international nonprofit organization, unites fraternally in the spirit of liberty, truth, justice and equality, to make human life more desirable by lessening its ills, and by promoting peace, prosperity, gladness and hope.

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