DRC members Matthew Potthoff and Philip Polgreen receive “Best Research Paper Awards”

DRC members Matthew Potthoff, PhD and Philip Polgreen, MD, MPH both received “Best Research Paper Awards”. The University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine leaders have launched a new initiative this fall to call attention to impactful and innovative research articles by the college’s faculty and staff.

Potthoff was awarded the “Best Basic Research Paper” for his study, “FGF21 Signals to Glutamatergic Neurons in the Ventromedial Hypothalamus to Suppress Carbohydrate Intake.” In the article, Jensen-Cody, Potthoff and colleagues detail the neural pathways whereby fibroblast growth factor 21 produced in the liver can signal to the brain to reduce appetite for carbohydrates. Published in Cell Metabolism, this study leverages single-cell transcriptomics and cell-specific knockouts of FGF21 receptors in subsets of neurons to find regions in the hypothalamus that respond to FGF21 that go on to modulate sugar consumption. These studies uncover an important homeostatic metabolic regulatory pathway while also creating an experimental paradigm for finding other brain regions that respond to FGF21.

The “Best Clinical Research Paper” was awarded to Polgreen’s publication, “Cystic Fibrosis Carriers are at Increased Risk for a Wide Range of Cystic Fibrosis-Related Conditions.” Miller, Polgreen, and others investigate whether people who are carriers of cystic fibrosis are at greater risk for developing health conditions that mirror those by patients with cystic fibrosis, a condition manifested when two autosomal recessive genes for CFTR are inherited. In an expansive informatics analysis using health insurance claims data, the team reports that there is indeed an increased risk for CF-related conditions for carriers of recessive CFTR alleles. The authors conclude that while the risk to individual CF carriers is low, the fact that there are 10 million carriers in the U.S. alone may make such morbidity substantial overall and motivate broader genetic testing.

Along with Matthew Potthoff and Phillip Polgreen, DRC members, Deniz Atasoy, PhD, Ling Yang, PhD, Val Sheffield, MD, PhD, and Mohammad Mokadem, MD, were among other papers noted for special mention.

Deniz Atasoy, PhD:

Aklan I, Sayar Atasoy N, Yavuz Y, Ates T, Coban I, Koksalar F, Filiz G, Topcu IC, Oncul M, Dilsiz P, Cebecioglu U, Alp MI, Yilmaz B, Davis DR, Hajdukiewicz K, Saito K, Konopka W, Cui H, Atasoy D. NTS Catecholamine Neurons Mediate Hypoglycemic Hunger via Medial Hypothalamic Feeding Pathways. Cell Metab. 2020 Feb 4;31(2):313-326.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2019.11.016. Epub 2019 Dec 12. PMID: 31839488

Ling Yang, PhD

Zhang Z, Qian Q, Li M, Shao F, Ding WX, Lira VA, Chen SX, Sebag SC, Hotamisligil GS, Cao H, Yang L. The unfolded protein response regulates hepatic autophagy by sXBP1-mediated activation of TFEB. Autophagy. 2021 Aug;17(8):1841-1855. doi: 10.1080/15548627.2020.1788889. Epub 2020 Jul 15. PMID: 32597296; PMCID: PMC8386593

Val Sheffield, MD, PhD

Carter CS, Huang SC, Searby CC, Cassaidy B, Miller MJ, Grzesik WJ, Piorczynski TB, Pak TK, Walsh SA, Acevedo M, Zhang Q, Mapuskar KA, Milne GL, Hinton AO Jr, Guo DF, Weiss R, Bradberry K, Taylor EB, Rauckhorst AJ, Dick DW, Akurathi V, Falls-Hubert KC, Wagner BA, Carter WA, Wang K, Norris AW, Rahmouni K, Buettner GR, Hansen JM, Spitz DR, Abel ED, Sheffield VC. Exposure to Static Magnetic and Electric Fields Treats Type 2 Diabetes. Cell Metab. 2020 Oct 6;32(4):561-574.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2020.09.012. Erratum in: Cell Metab. 2020 Dec 1;32(6):1076. PMID: 33027675; PMCID: PMC7819711

Mohammad Mokadem, MD

Ye Y, Abu El Haija M, Morgan DA, Guo D, Song Y, Frank A, Tian L, Riedl RA, Burnett CML, Gao Z, Zhu Z, Shahi SK, Zarei K, Couvelard A, Poté N, Ribeiro-Parenti L, Bado A, Noureddine L, Bellizzi A, Kievit P, Mangalam AK, Zingman LV, Le Gall M, Grobe JL, Kaplan LM, Clegg D, Rahmouni K, Mokadem M. Endocannabinoid Receptor-1 and Sympathetic Nervous System Mediate the Beneficial Metabolic Effects of Gastric Bypass. Cell Rep. 2020 Oct 27;33(4):108270. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2020.108270. PMID: 33113371; PMCID: PMC7660289

See the rest of the award winners and other papers of note at the Carver College of Medicine’s website.

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