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Permanent Members of the Lab

Distinguished Scientist

Photo of Mark KellerMark Keller
Mark has been in the lab since 1998. He is involved in project management, bioinformatics analyses, oversees many collaborations with other laboratories, as well as two drug development projects. His background is in pharmacology of G-coupled protein receptors. Mark grew up in Oregon and earned his B.S. at the University of Oregon and his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Photo of Kathy SchuelerKathy (Kiki) Schueler
Kathy joined the lab in 1995 after working for seven years at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center with Helen Hobbs. There, Kathy sequenced many new alleles of the LDL receptor that were collected by Nobel Laureates Mike Brown and Joe Goldstein. Kathy has been the secret to the success of our mouse genetics program. She has been responsible for all the breeding, genotyping, and record keeping that are essential for a successful genetics program.

Photo of Mary RabagliaMary Rabaglia
Mary joined the lab in 1998 with 15 years of experience studying β-cell biology. With her expertise, she was instrumental in helping Alan’s lab to begin its studies of the genetics of diabetes. People from all over the country have come to Madison to learn from Mary how to isolate pancreatic islets. Mary conducts experiments on the regulation of insulin secretion and on agents that affect the proliferation and survival of β-cells.

Photo of Donnie StapletonDonnie Stapleton
Donnie joined the lab in 1999 where he worked on projects related to lipid and lipoprotein metabolism and metabolism and obesity. Most recently, he worked with post-doctoral fellow Chen-Yu Wang on the role of Tsc2 in hepatic steatosis. He is now working on projects related to β-cell function and β-cell proliferation. He is also responsible for a drug development project aimed at treating hepatic steatosis.

Photo of Shane SimonettShane Simonett
Shane joined the lab in 2015. He is studying a transcriptional pathway driven by Nfatc2. We have discovered that this transcription factor controls the expression of many genes involved in type 2 diabetes.

Post-doctoral Fellows

Photo of Rahul DasRahul Das
Islet cells share several physiological and molecular features with the neurons, including expression of genes associated with chronic neurodegenerative diseases (such as Alzheimer’s disease). I am working on the elucidation of the role of one such candidate, amyloid precursor protein (APP) in the β cell physiology and type 2 diabetes. I joined the lab in 2015. I grew up in India and earned M.S. at Calcutta University. My Ph.D. was from the University of Missouri-Kansas City where I studied the roles of Tribbles protein (Drosophila homolog of mammalian Tribs) in Border cell migration and Insulin signaling pathway.

Graduate Students

Photo of Kelly MitokKelly Mitok
B.S. from University of Wisconsin Madison
Kelly joined the lab in 2014. She is investigating the role of the Vps10 protein Sortilin in pancreatic beta cell function.

Photo of Ka YangKa Yang
Ka is a graduate student in Pharmacy working with Weiping Tang. He is working on a joint project with us to develop a novel drug to inhibit PCSK9, a protein that raises LDL levels.