Assistant Professor
Dept. of MedicineSushant Bhatnagar

Contact Information:

Office Address: SHEL 1203
Websites: School of Medicine Faculty Profile
Bhatnagar Lab


PhD., West Virginia University 2008

Research Description:

Dr. Bhatnagar received Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Chemistry Honors from Panjab University, Chandigarh, India. After that, he completed his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV. His doctorate thesis work was on understanding the role of FGF19 secreted protein in lipid and carbohydrate metabolism. As a postdoctoral research associate, Dr. Bhatnagar embarked on a challenging genetics project, which led to the positional cloning of Tomosyn-2 gene that increases susceptibility to type 2 diabetes. He successfully identified a SNP in the Tomosyn-2 gene and demonstrated that it is causal for the disease phenotype. As an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, Dr. Bhatnagar started working on developing the idea of determining the function of the secreted proteins by using network-based approaches. This analysis combines the unique strategy of gene expression profiling with the coexpression network-based approaches to identify secreted protein regulators and determine their tissue-specific function. The outcomes from this project are expected to provide insights into islet function during the pathophysiology state, which will lead to the identification of novel therapeutic targets for drug discovery. Using this approach, his laboratory successfully identified a novel role of C1ql3 secreted protein and its G-protein coupled receptor BAI3 in insulin secretion. His laboratory integrates the use of genetics- and bioinformatics as a discovery platform to identify novel metabolic regulators, and subsequently utilizes biochemistry, cell biology, and physiology-based techniques to understand mechanisms underlying islet function in obesity and type 2 diabetes. Current lab projects include understanding, the role of Tomosyn-2 in insulin secretion and glucose tolerance, the role of C1ql3-BAI3 in regulating insulin secretion and beta cell function, and the use of bioinformatics to identify novel secreted protein regulators. His laboratory has been supported by funds from K99/R00 NIH Pathway to Independence award, American Diabetes Association, Laboratory-startup funds, UAB DRC Pilot award, and recently awarded R01. For details on new and exciting developments, please contact Sushant Bhatnagar.


DRC Membership Catergory: