Diabetes Research Center (DRC)
Washington University in St. Louis

Thomas J. Baranski, M.D., Ph.D.

Thomas J. Baranski, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Medicine and Molecular Biology and Pharmacology

Internal Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism & Lipid Research

Mailing Address:   848 SW Tower
Office Location:   660 S. Euclid Ave
Campus Box 8127
St. Louis, MO 63110
Office Phone:   (314) 747-3997
Lab Phone:   (314) 747-2927
Fax:   (314) 362-7641
E-mail address:   baranski@wustl.edu

Research Interest:

Metabolic Regulation and Obesity

Signal Transduction/Hormone Action

spacer

Category(ies) of Research:

Translational

spacer

Descriptor of Research:

Our laboratory studies signal transduction by G protein-coupled receptors, a superfamily of heptahelical transmembrane proteins. The receptors act as elegantly engineered switches, receiving signals involved in many physiologic processes - blood pressure regulation, glucose homeostasis, sight and smell - to turn on specific signaling cascades within cells. We use engineered yeast to apply the power of genetics to the study of signaling by human G protein-coupled receptors. Insights into how ligands activate receptors will aid in drug design and greatly impact medicine; more than half of currently prescribed pharmaceuticals target G protein-coupled receptors. A new project in the lab involves a model system of glucose toxicity in the simple model organism Drosophila melanogaster. We have performed screens in flies to identify genes that contribute to the effects of a high glucose diet on developing larvae. On high sugar diets, the flies develop phenotypes similar to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes mellitus. We are using this model to understand the pathogenesis of diet-induced diabetes.

spacer

Endo Metab & Lipid Research

spacer

PubMed