Dr. Coletta’s primary research interests are to study the molecular basis, genetics and epigenetics of insulin resistance, which is a characteristic feature of a number of common metabolic diseases including type 2 diabetes mellitus and obesity. The prevalence of these complex metabolic diseases is increasing and to prevent the epidemic rise, it is necessary to define the genetic and molecular defects responsible for the insulin resistance that characterizes these common diseases. Dr. Coletta’s laboratory combines state of the art techniques (global epigenetic mapping, pyrosequencing analysis, oligonucleotide-based DNA chip microarray analysis, RNA sequencing, DNA resequencing, genomewide linkage analysis, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) association studies, linkage disequilibrium mapping and mass spectrometry proteome analyses) and in vivo methods (euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp, muscle biopsies, exercise training, bariatric surgery, lipid infusion, drug intervention studies) to identify and characterize genes/loci that influence this complex phenotype. Susceptibility genes/loci identified from these analyses are characterized further using assays and molecular techniques that allow for functional analysis of each candidate gene. Identification of the genes that are critical to the development of insulin resistance will provide new targets for therapeutic interventions to reverse/ameliorate the insulin resistance and thereby lead to an improvement in these common metabolic diseases.
Dawn Coletta, PhD
- Associate Professor, Medicine
- Associate Professor, Physiology