Research Programs

Bryan Lab

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Joseph Bryan, Ph.D.

Dr. Bryan studies the brain’s role in glucose homeostasis and the mechanistic understanding of ATP-sensitive potassium channels

Dr. Joseph Bryan and Dr. Lydia Aguilar-Bryan focus their research on understanding the molecular mechanisms by which glucose stimulates insulin secretion and the particular role ATP-sensitive K+ channels (KATP) play in this process. While at the Baylor School of Medicine, the Bryan laboratory famously cloned the high affinity sulfonylurea receptor (SUR 1), the regulatory subunit of this channel. The Bryan lab currently studies mutations in patients with insulin secretory abnormalities, such as neonatal diabetes, IDDM, NIDDM, and Hyperinsulinemic Hypoglycemia (HI). This research effort has highlighted how mutations in SUR 1, which are responsible for ~50% of the cases of HI, result in more than an ion channel defect. To this end, the Bryans have been identifying other players that potentiate or inhibit glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and how they are altered as a result of the lack of this potassium channel activity.