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L. Karl Olson

L. Karl Olson

Associate Professor, Physiology

BIOMED PHYS SCI
567 WILSON RD ROOM 3176
EAST LANSING MI 48824
517-884-5116
olsonla@msu.edu

Research Interests:
Dr. Olson's work is in the area of molecular endocrinology. Specifically his work centers around the chemical-induced alterations of the regulation of pancreatic islet B cell physiology and signal transduction. His research interests focus on the molecular mechanisms by which chronic exposure of pancreatic islets to elevated glucose concentrations adversely alter pancreatic beta cell function-the so called glucose toxicity hypothesis. His team has identified that chronic exposure of pancreatic b cell lines to elevated glucose concentrations decreases insulin biosynthesis by decreasing the rate of insulin gene transcription. The decrease in insulin gene transcription results from a defect in the binding of two transcription factors that are essential to insulin gene transcription. We are currently investigating: (1) the molecular mechanisms responsible for the decrease in binding of these critical transcription factors, and (2) whether the decrease in insulin gene expression that occurs in animal models of type II diabetes mellitus is related to decreased binding of these transcription factors. Parallel projects also underway include studies design to investigate the mechanisms by which fatty acids and regulators of cell growth affect pancreatic beta cell function and gene expression.

Educational Background:
University of Minnesota, Ph.D., Pharmacology, 1991  

Selected Professional Activities:
Dr. Olson holds memberships in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Diabetes Association, the Endocrine Society, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International.

Publications:

Search PubMed at the National Library of Medicine:


Departmental Web Page:
http://www.psl.msu.edu/olson.html

Laboratory Trainees:

  • Ying Cai, Postdoctoral