|Sasanka Ramanadham, Ph.D.
Dept. of Cell, Developmental, & Integrative Biology
Areas of Focus: Beta-Cell Apoptosis Bone Metabolism Insulin Resistance/Diabetes
Include study of programmed death (apoptosis) of insulin-secreting b-cells in the pancreatic islet, involvement of a novel enzyme activity in bone formation, and HIV-protease inhibitor-induced metabolic abnormalities. Brief descriptions of these areas are provided below:
- b-Cell Apoptosis. Diabetes mellitus (DM) is the most prevalent human metabolic disease, and it results from loss and/or dysfunction of b-cells in pancreatic islets. b-Cell mass is regulated by a balance between b-cell growth, resulting from b-cell replication and neogenesis, and b-cell death resulting from apoptosis. The goals of this project are to understand the mechanism by which lipid mediators contribute to b-cell death.
- Bone Formation. Bioactive arachidonic acid (AA) metabolites (eicosanoids) generated by the actions of 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO) and cyclooxygenase (COX) are important mediators of bone remodeling. Our studies reveal abnormalities in bone formation in iPLA2b-null mice and the goals of this project are to elucidate the role of iPLA2b in bone formation.
- HIV-PIs and Insulin Resistance/Diabetes. Over the past two decades, the number of people worldwide living with HIV/AIDS has risen to nearly 40 million. The introduction of PIs in 1995 has resulted in marked decreases in mortality among HIV+ patients from 30% achieved with RTs combination therapy alone to 8% with the addition of a PI. However, inclusion of PIs in the therapeutic regimen is also associated with insulin resistance, hyperglycemia, and overt type 2 diabetes mellitus. Our studies indicate the involvement of a novel signaling cascade in PI-Induced insulin resistance and diabetes and the goals of this project are to describe the mechanism(s) by which chronic PI treatments induce metabolic abnormalities.
Dr. Ramanadham received his BSc degree in Biochemistry from McGill University, Montreal, Canada in1980; and went on to receive his Ph.D. degree in Pharmacology from Texas Tech Univ. Health Sciences Ctr, in Lubbock, TX in 1985. He did his post doctoral studies at the University of British Colombia, Vancouver, Canada (1985-1988) and at Washington University Sch. of Med., St. Louis, MO (1991-1993).
In July 2010, Dr. Ramanadham joined the faculty as an Associate Professor of Physiology and Biophysics; Senior Scientist, in the Comprehensive Diabetes Center, at UAB.