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UIC DRTP Training/Mentoring Faculty

Basic/Mechanistic Research

Terry G. Unterman, MD – Program Director, see Executive Committee

Brian T. Layden, MD, PhD – Co-Director, see Executive Committee

Robert Sargis, MD, PhD – see Executive Committee

Salman Khetani, PhD – see Executive Committee

Pingwen Xu, PhD – see Executive Committee

Jose Cordoba-Chacon, PhD
Assistant Professor, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
Research interests: molecular mechanisms involved in the progression and reversion of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and steatohepatitis. Regulation of hepatic lipid and glucose metabolism in mouse models.

Pradeep Dudeja, PhD –
Professor of Physiology in Medicine, Senior VA Research Career Scientist.
Research interests: GI physiology and metabolism, including the microbiome, short chain fatty acid (SCFA) metabolism and SCFA receptors in regulating gut hormone secretion, metabolism and islet biology.

Yuwei Jiang, PhD –
Assistant Professor, Department of Physiology and Biophysics (Adjunct member, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism).
Research interests: mechanisms of metabolic disorders including obesity and type-2 diabetes, development and control adipose tissues. Key words: adipose stem cells; white, brown and beige adipocytes; adipogenesis; metabolic flexibility.

Rhonda Kineman, PhD –
Professor in Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism (Adjunct Member, Depts Physiology/Biophysics, Kinesiology/Nutrition).
Research interests: regulation and metabolic effects of growth hormone (GH) and its downstream effector, STAT5B; effects of GH/STAT5B on hepatic de novo lipogenesis (NIH R01) and the development of NAFLD and NASH.

Timothy Koh, PhD –
Professor, Departmentt of Kinesiology and Nutrition
Research interests: Role of inflammation in both normal wound healing and impaired wound healing associated with diabetes. Regulation of macrophage heterogeneity over the course of normal healing and its dysregulation in chronic diabetic wounds.

Chong Wee Liew, PhD –
Associate Professor in Physiology and Biophysics (Adjunct member, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism).
Research interests: identification of novel factors, molecular mechanisms and pathways regulating adipose tissue biology and metabolism.

Natalia Nieto, PhD –
Professor, Departments of Medicine and Pathology
Research interests: molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of liver diseases, including alcohol and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and steatohepatitis; identification of druggable targets.

Jalees Rehman, MD –
Professor of Medicine (Cardiology), Pharmacology and Bioengineering.
Research interests: molecular, cellular and bioinformatic approaches to studying cellular and mitochondrial metabolism, hypoxic signaling, obesity; vascular biology; regenerative medicine.

P.V. Subbaiah, PhD –
Professor in Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism (Adjunct member, Department of Physiology and Biophysics).
Research interests: Lipid and lipoprotein metabolism; Role of dietary omega 3 fatty acids in prevention of insulin resistance, neuroinflammation, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetic retinopathy.

Clinical/Translational Research Heading link

Lauretta Quinn, PhD, BSN – see Executive Committee

Ali Cinar, PhD –
Professor, Hyosung S.R. Cho Endowed Chair in Engineering and Director, Center for Diabetes Research and Education, Illinois Institute of Technology.
Research interests: (1) Development of multivariable artificial pancreas systems for people with diabetes; (2) Simulation systems for glucose, insulin and physiological variable dynamics in Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and assessment of medication and lifestyle changes in regulating blood glucose levels.

Tracy Baynard, PhD –
Associate Professor, Kinesiology and Nutrition,
Director, Integrative Physiology (Human Performance) Laboratory.
Research interests: Cardiovascular (arterial, autonomic, and cardiac function) and exercise physiology, human subjects research, obesity and related complications, special populations.

Kirstie Danielson, PhD –
Assistant Professor, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism.
Research interests: epidemiology of type 1 diabetes; islet transplantation; role of osteocalcin, sex steroids, and vascular health in impacting islet survival and function.

Frank González, MD –
Associate Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Research interests: nutrition, inflammation, insulin resistance, ovarian dysfunction, hyperandrogenism, polycystic ovary syndrome.

Abeer Mohamed, MD, PhD –
Assistant Professor, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism.
Research interests: molecular and epigenetic mechanisms linking obesity with chronic morbidities such as metabolic disorders, cardiovascular disease and cancer progression; clinical studies and trials (dietary, physical activity, and surgical (bariatric surgery)); animal models; in vitro and ex vivo cell and tissue culture models.

Sirimon Reutrakul, MD –
Professor, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism.
Research interests: Relationships between sleep and circadian regulation and glucose metabolism, utilizing cross-sectional and interventional designs.

Krista Varady, PhD –
Professor of Nutrition, Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition, College of Affiliated Health Sciences.
Research interests: efficacy of intermittent fasting and timed feeding for weight loss and metabolic disease risk reduction in adults with obesity.

Behavioral/Community-Based Research Heading link

Martha Daviglus, MD, PhD – see Executive Committee

Maria Argos, MPH, PhD –
Associate Professor, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health.
Research interests: Environmental, molecular, and chronic disease epidemiology; Health effect of metals and metal mixtures; Life course epidemiology; Precision population health.

Marian Fitzgibbon, PhD –
Professor, Department of Pediatric and School of Public Health, Deputy Director, Institute for Health Research and Policy.
Research interests: prevention of obesity and treatment interventions for obesity-related co-morbid conditions; childhood obesity prevention in underserved populations.

Jun Ma, MD, PhD –
Professor of Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Associate Head of Research, Department of Medicine, Director, Center for Health Behavior Research, Institute for Health Research Policy.
Research interests: preventive medicine, translational behavioral medicine, and experimental and implementation studies of lifestyle interventions for the prevention and control of chronic conditions, including obesity and diabetes; patient and system outcomes; neurobiophysiological mechanisms.

Pamela Martyn-Nemeth, PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN 
Associate Professor, Department of Biobehavioral Health Science, College of Nursing.
Research interests: cardiovascular risk reduction and improving self-management behavior and quality of life in persons with type 1 diabetes (T1D).

Victoria Persky, MD, MPH –
Professor, Epidemiology-Biostatistics.
Research interests: endocrine effects of persistent organic pollutants, cardiovascular effects of environmental exposures and risk factors for asthma, obesity and diabetes.