In brief…

Our Research


Our team is committed to identifying key molecular and developmental determinants of diabetes, with the ultimate goal of preventing this disease. To this end, our work is currently focused on two questions.

  • What are the mechanisms by which early life adverse conditions increase diabetes risk? To study this, we have developed an innovative model of intrauterine diabetes exposure accomplished via unilateral infusion of macronutrients into the uterine artery. We have recently described that long-lasting skeletal muscle insulin resistance begins within hours of such exposure.
  • How does cystic fibrosis cause diabetes? We are working collaboratively with other University of Iowa investigators to better understand the pathophysiology of cystic fibrosis related diabetes. Our work demonstrates that cystic fibrosis induces a functional pancreatic islet defect. Ongoing studies aim to understand the mechanistic origins of impaired islet function.
Historic photo from 1937.

Our Publications by Focus Area


Each dot in the below graphic represent a publication. This publication timeline is organized by focus area. Hovering over a dot will show an overview of the publication. Clicking will open its pubmed link. (Graphic last updated spring 2019.)

Alternatively, most of our publications are indexed on PubMed. These can be viewed via this link.

Our Team


Our team, present and past, includes experienced scientists, postdoctoral trainees, graduate student, and students. Read about present and past lab members at our People page. Our team maintains a number of close collaborations, especially with John Engelhardt PhD and his laboratory, Aliye Uc MD and her laboratory, and Katie Larson Ode MD.

Our Areas of Expertise


  • Cystic fibrosis related diabetes
  • Single fuel exposures in the uterine artery
  • Fetal insulin signaling
  • Diabetes-related molecular physiology and insulin action
  • Fatty acid metabolism
  • Bioinformatic approaches to metabolism research
Historic photo from 1937.

Our Affiliations


University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital

Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center

Stead Family Department of Pediatrics

Division of Endocrinology & Diabetes
► ► Check out the Director’s Blog for the Division, authored by Dr. Norris.

Carver College of Medicine at the University of Iowa

Department of Biochemistry
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology

News


Archived News


Find our news archive here.

Most Recent News


Below are highlights from the recent news page.

Electromagnetic Fields Can Treat Type 2 Diabetes

Our lab contributed to scientific work newly published in Cell Metabolism showing that exposure to generated electromagnetic fields lowers blood sugar in rodents with type 2 diabetes. We were thrilled to help design and interpret the glycemic clamps that were used to better understand the physiological mechanisms involved in the phenomenon. (Pubmed link; DOI link).

Graphical summary from article

A Tale of Two Pancreases

We contributed to a review just published in Diabetologia. The article reviews how diseases of the exocrine pancreas can lead to defects in insulin production and diabetes. (Pubmed link, DOI link)

Summary Figure from Review: Exocrine-Endocrine Interactions in the Pancreas

Developmental origins of endocrine disease

The environment each of us was exposed early in life, even in the womb, matters for our long term health. The mechanisms involved are not well understood, but the impacts include endocrine diseases – especially diabetes. Check this out: the Journal of Endocrinology is publishing a special edition focused on the developmental origins of endocrine disease. Our lab contributes the lead original research article in the edition, which is reviewed in the issue’s main editorial.

Andrew Henry Graduates

Congratulations to Andrew Henry upon his undergraduate graduation with a degree in Biochemistry! Andrew has been working in the lab since late in his Freshman year.

Andrew Henry

Gulnara Novbatova completes Masters of Science degree

Congratulations to Gulnara Novbatova. Today, she presented her Master’s research performed in our lab. Her work identified differential auxologic effects of maternal high fat diet on offspring between strains. She has now completed her Masters of Science requirements. We wish her the best of luck as she moves to start her Doctoral work.

Gulnara Novbatova

Andrew Henry speaks at undergraduate research honors presentation.

We are very proud of Andrew Henry, who earlier today gave a presentation of his research findings at the 15th Annual Gene F. Lata Undergraduate Honors Symposium.

New Website is Up

We are pleased to unveil our new lab website, as of 1:12 pm CDT on April 17, 2019.  We were very fond of the old site, but time had antiquated its server, operating system, and rendering engine.  We have moved much of the content on to the new website, and hope to better keep up with lab news, etc.

Highlight in Thematic Review

Our 2017 publication in Endocrinology was highlighted in Diabetes 2018, a special curated collection of Endocrine Society journal articles published 2017-2018, found at this link.