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

faculty photo
Professor of Medicine
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.
Permanent link

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

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.

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 under review, under review 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, Maulis, Schug J, Wright CVE, Stoffers DA*, Gannon M* *contribution: Onectu1 and Pdx1 coordinate during pancreatic organogenesis to regulate genes required for postnatal islet function. in preparation 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.

Ussher JR, Baggio LL, Campbell JE, Mulvihill EE, Kim M, Kabir MG, Cao X, Baranek J, Stoffers DA, Seeley RJ, Drucker DJ : Inactivation of the cardiomyocyte Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor (GLP-1R) unmasks cardiomyocyte-independent GLP-1R-mediated cardioprotection. Molecular Metabolism in press, 2014.

Eric P. Smith, Zhibo An, Constance Wagner, Alfor G. Lewis, Eric B. Cohen1, Bailing Li, Parinaz Mahbod, Darleen Sandoval, Diego Perez-Tilve, Natalia Tamarina, Louis H. Philipson, Doris A. Stoffers, Randy J. Seeley and David A. D’Alessio: The role of β-cell GLP-1 signaling in glucose regulation and response to diabetes drugs Cell Metabolism 19(6): 1050-7, 2014.

Baeyens L, Lemper M, Leuckx G, De Groef S, Bonfanti P, Stangé G, Shemer R, Nord C, Scheel DW, Pan FC, Ahlgren U, Gu G, Stoffers DA, Dor Y, Ferrer J, Gradwohl G, Wright CV, Van de Casteele M, German MS, Bouwens L, Heimberg H. : Transient cytokine treatment induces acinar cell reprogramming and regenerates functional beta cell mass in diabetic mice. Nature Biotechnology 32(1): 76-83, 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.

back to top
Last updated: 05/19/2015
The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania