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The Lab Training Environment

The diabetes field encompasses many fields. To work at the cutting edge of this field, our research touches on a wide range of fields:

• Hormone signaling pathways
• Hormonal control of metabolic pathways
• Nuclear hormone receptors
• Transcriptional regulation
• Epigenetics
• Microbiome and its effects on metabolism and energy balance
• Vesicle trafficking in relation to exocytosis
• Complex trait genetics
• The genetic architecture of gene expression
• Micro-RNA regulation of metabolism
• Proteomic analysis of post-translational modifications in relation to disease
• Development of new therapeutics for treatment of diabetes and other metabolic diseases

Graduate students and post-docs

• Graduate students and post-docs may choose to specialize in one area from the above list or might wish to have a broader training experience.
• Graduate students typically work with a post-doctoral fellow and with one or more members of the lab’s permanent staff.

Undergraduate scholars

Most of our graduate students enjoy being mentors to undergraduate independent study scholars; we typically have around 5-6 undergraduates working in the lab. This provides graduate students with valuable teaching experience and talented lab assistants. Several of our past undergraduates are now university professors. These include:

• Scott Lowe; Howard Hughes Investigator, Sloan-Kettering Institute
• Tom Baranski; Professor of Medicine, Washington University
• Charlie Rudin; Professor of Oncology, Johns Hopkins University
• Rene Galindo; Assistant Professor of Pathology, Molecular Biology, University of Texas Health Sciences Center
• Kimberly Buhman, Associate Professor of Nutritional Science, Purdue University 

Lab meetings

We have lab meetings every week where we have a mix of short and long reports from members of the lab. The short reports enable everyone to be up to date on all of the experiments occurring in a given week. This allows people to coordinate sharing of reagents and lab resources and to provide advice on experimental design. The longer reports involve extended discussion of a body of work that is taking shape as a publishable story.

Journal clubs

We have a formal metabolism seminar course in the fall semester that functions much like a journal club. At other times, we have journal club literature discussions.

Open door

Alan’s office door is seldom closed. He thrives on looking at fresh new data. Everyone is welcome to come to discuss data or to engage in problem solving when we encounter technical problems with experiments.

Employment options

The broad training environment of the lab opens doors to a wide range of employment options. Past members of the lab are now in the following positions:

• Faculty at research universities (mainly research, with some teaching)
• Faculty at undergraduate colleges (mainly teaching)
• Pharmaceutical companies
• Biotechnology companies
• High school teaching
• Companies that produce diets for research animals
• Food companies
• Investment firms
• Patent writing and litigation