Pharmacology

Two new faculty join department

Justin Grobe, Ph.D. joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor on June 1. His research interests are to define the mechanisms a) by which the brain and systemic renin-angiotensin systems regulate energy homeostasis, b) how angiotensin mediates browning of white adipose tissue, and c) microglial cell activation in the brain in mediating central metabolic effects of angiotensin. Dr. Grobe will be a member of the Fraternal Order of the Eagle’s Diabetes Research Center. He attended Hope College in Holland, MI receiving dual degrees in both Biology and Chemistry, and then received his Ph.D. in Pharmacodynamics from the University of Florida, College of Pharmacy, Gainesville, FL. His postdoctoral research was in the laboratory of Dr. Curt Sigmund at the University of Iowa where he showed that activation of the renin-angiotensin system in brain leads to increased activity-independent thermogenesis, a finding published in Cell Metabolism. Dr. Grobe has published over 30 papers and received a highly competitive K99/R00 grant from the NIH.

Matthew Potthoff, Ph.D. joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor on July 1. His research interests are to utilize genetic, molecular, and metabolomic techniques to examine the function of newly identified and established transcription factors in obesity and diabetes. His research goals are to: 1) identify novel regulators of hepatic glucose and lipid metabolism; 2) examine how endocrine FGFs are regulated, modified, and secreted; and 3) determine whether GLP-1 control of hepatic glucose production functions under physiological conditions to regulate hepatic glycogen utilization and improves glycemia in the diabetic state. Dr. Potthoff received his BS degree in Zoology from the University of Oklahoma, and his Ph.D. in Genetics and Development from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX. His postdoctoral research was in David Mangelsdorf’s laboratory also at UT Southwestern, where he discovered a novel paradigm whereby endocrine FGFs, FGF19 and FGF21, act as secondary metabolic regulators, to insulin and glucagon, to reciprocally regulate hepatic lipid and carbohydrate metabolism in the fed and fasted states. His research findings were published in Cell Metabolism, PNAS and Diabetes. Dr. Potthoff will be a member of the Fraternal Order of the Eagle’s Diabetes Research Center.