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Doris A. Stoffers, M.D., Ph.D

Professor of Medicine
Member, Penn Diabetes Research Center
Member, Center for Molecular Studies in Digestive and Liver Diseases, Philadelphia, PA
Member, Institute for Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, Philadelphia, PA
Director, Pilot and Feasibility Grant Program, Diabetes Research Center (DRC)
Member, Diabetes Research Center (DRC) Executive Committee
Director, Islet Cell Biology Core (Co-Director: Franz Matschinsky), Penn Diabetes Research Center Institute for Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Department: Medicine
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
Smilow Center for Translational Research, Room 12-124
3400 Civic Center Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: 215 573-5413
Fax: 215 898-5408
B.A. (Chemistry)
Johns Hopkins University , 1984.
Ph.D. (Neuroscience)
Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine, 1991.
Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine, 1991.
Post-Graduate Training
Intern in Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, 1991-1992.
Resident in Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, 1992-1993.
Fellowship in Endocrinology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, 1993-1996.
Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, 1994-1998.
Burroughs Welcome Biomedical Research Fellow, Bunting Institute, Radcliffe College, Harvard University, 1995-1996.
American Board of Internal Medicine (General Internal Medicine), 1994.
American Board of Internal Medicine (Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism). Recertified 2005-2015 , 1995.
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Description of Research Expertise

Research Interests
- transcription factors and signal transduction
- embryonic development and adult regeneration of the endocrine pancreas
- relationship of defects in these pathways to the pathophysiology of diabetes mellitus, a disease caused by a deficiency in the production or action of insulin

Key words: Diabetes, insulin, beta cell, pancreas development, transcriptional regulation, signal transduction.

Description of Research
Research in our laboratory focuses on the embryonic development and adult regeneration of the endocrine pancreas, and the relationship of defects in these pathways to the pathophysiology of diabetes mellitus, a disease caused by a deficiency in the production or action of insulin. The beta cells of the endocrine pancreas are the only source of insulin production in the body- therefore the regulation of beta cell mass is pivotal to the development of diabetes and successful therapies aimed at correcting diabetes must impact beta cell growth and/or function. Further support for this focus derives from genetic studies linking monogenic forms of human diabetes to mutations in transcription factors that regulate the development of beta cell mass. A model example is the homeobox transcription factor, IPF-1/PDX-1, that plays critical roles in embryonic pancreas development and in differentiated islet beta cell function in the adult endocrine pancreas. Using cutting edge molecular methods, yeast two hybrid libraries, transgenic and knock-out mice, cDNA microarray, chromatin immunoprecipitation, human genetics, and genomic and proteomic approaches, our current projects include:

1. Characterization of a novel PDX C-terminus Interacting Factor, PCIF1, identified in a yeast two-hybrid screen. PCIF1 is a novel nuclear factor that recruits Pdx1 into a cullin3 based E3 ubiquitin ligase for polyubiquitination and proteasomal degradation. Biochemical, molecular, in vivo and human genetics approaches are being applied to elucidate the role of this novel regulatory molecule.
2. Examining the molecular mechanisms by which the incretin hormone GLP-1 stimulates expansion of beta cell mass, with a particular emphasis on signal transduction and the identification of molecular mechanisms whereby GLP-1 promotes beta cell regeneration and regulates PDX expression.
3. Elucidating molecular mechanisms underlying islet compensation for diet-induced insulin resistance.
4. Identifing targets of Pdx1, Pbx and Meis homeodomain factors in the pancreatic ß cell.

Rotation Projects for 2008-2009
Lab rotation projects are available in all of the major areas described above. Please arrange for an appointment to discuss.

Lab personnel:
Doris A. Stoffers, MD, PhD, Principal Investigator
Jiangying Liu, PhD Postdoctoral Fellow
Ada Po Man Suen, PhD Postdoctoral Fellow
Scott Soleimanpour, MD, Postdoctoral Fellow
You Wang, Postdoctoral Fellow
Jennifer Oliver-Krasinski, Graduate Student
Mira Sachdeva, Graduate Student
Katy Claiborn, Graduate Student
Cynthia Khoo, Graduate Student
David Groff, Research Specialist
Juxiang Yang, PhD, Research Specialist

Selected Publications

Benjamin N. Ediger, Lim Hee-Woong, David Groff, LaQueena Williams, Erik Walp, Catherine Lee-May, Kyoung Jae Won, Doris A. Stoffers: Ldb1 maintains mature pancreatic β-cell identity through a robust functional relationship with Isl-1. in preparation in preparation, 2016.

Scott A. Soleimanpour; Alana M. Ferrari; Jeffrey C. Raum; David N. Groff; Juxiang Yang; Brett A. Kaufman; and Doris A. Stoffers: Diabetes susceptibility genes Pdx1 and Clec16a function in a pathway regulating mitophagy in β-cells Diabetes 64(10): 3475-84, October 2015.

Wang A, Yue F, Li Y, Xie R, Harper T, Patel NA, Muth K, Palmer J, Qiu Y, Wang J, Lam DK, Raum JC, Stoffers DA, Ren B, Sander M: Epigenetic Priming of Enhancers Predicts Developmental Competence of hESC-Derived Endodermal Lineage Intermediates Cell Stem Cell 16(4): 386-99, 2015.

Stanescu DE, Won KJ, Stoffers DA: Single cell RNASeq reveals stages of pancreatic alpha cell maturation. in preparation 2015.

Daniella A. Babu, Andrea V. Rozo, PoMan A. Suen, David N. Groff, Juxiang Yang, Diana Stanescu, Rebecca A. Simmons, Patrick Seale, Rexford S. Ahima and Doris A. Stoffers: Neonatal GLP1R activation limits adult adiposity by durably altering hypothalamic architecture. in preparation in preparation, 2015.

Raum JC, Soleimanpour SA, Groff DN, Coré N, Fasano L, Garratt AN, Dai C, Powers AC, Stoffers DA: Tshz1 regulates pancreatic beta cell maturation. Diabetes in press, 2015.

Henley K@, Stanescu D@, Kropp PA, Wright CVE, Won KJ, Stoffers DA*, Gannon M* *,@equal contribution: Threshold-dependent cooperative function of Pdx1 and Oc1 within pancreatic progenitors establishes competency for later β-cell maturation. Cell Reports under review 2015.

Cannon CE, Titchenell PM, Groff DN, ElOuaamari A, Kulkarni RN, Birnbaum MJ and Stoffers DA : The Polycomb protein, Bmi1, regulates insulin sensitivity. Molecular Metabolism in press, 2014.

Tao Gao, Brian McKenna, Changhong Li, Maximilian Reichert, James Nguyen, Tarjinder Singh, Chenghua Yang, Archana Pannikar, Nicolai Doliba, Tingting Zhang, Doris A. Stoffers, Helena Edlund, Franz Matschinsky, Roland Stein, and Ben Z. Stanger: Pdx1 maintains β-cell identity and function by repressing an alpha-cell program Cell Metabolism 19(2): 259-71, 2014.

Ediger, B, Du A, Liu J, Hunter C, Walp E, Schug J, Kaestner KH, Stein R, Stoffers DA*, May CL*. *co-senior and corresponding authors: Islet-1 is essential for pancreatic β-cell function. Diabetes 2014, in press. Diabetes in press, 2014.

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Last updated: 09/30/2015
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