L. Karl Olson

L.  Karl  Olson
  • Associate Professor, Department of Physiology
  • Biomed Phys Sci
  • 567 Wilson Rd Room 3164
  • East Lansing MI 48824
  • 517-884-5116


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.


University of Minnesota, Ph.D., Pharmacology, 1991 




Dr. Olson at PubMed

Dr. Olson at MSU Scholars