2019 Research Accomplishments

Jing-xingJiang-xing Ma, Ph.D.- Chairman of Physiology- 
Dr. Ma and colleagues published this high impact paper in Diabetes:

A Protective Effect of PPARα in Endothelial Progenitor Cells Through Regulating Metabolism
Yan Shao, Jianglei Chen, Li-jie Dong, Xuemin He, Rui Cheng, Kelu Zhou,
Juping Liu, Fangfang Qiu, Xiao-rong Li, and Jian-xing Ma
Diabetes published ahead of print August 26, 2019, doi:10.2337/db18-1278


Yun Le, Ph.D.- Department of Internal Medicine, Diabetes & Endocrinology-
In April, Dr. Le received Nanqian (the best in Southern China) Lectureship, lecture(s) with the highest honor at Xiamen University, Xiamen, China for work related to diabetic retinopathy. Co co-awardees: Drs. Steven J. Fliesler (President of Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology) and Donald C. Hood (Editor of Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, the top experimental eye research journal).

Venkataraman Kalyanaraman, MD- Department of Internal Medicine, Diabetes & Endocrinology-
1. PI for CDC - GHWIC – Metabolic Clinic – 3 YR Grant ($1,875,000)
2. SDPI Grant (Both are at Oklahoma City Indian Clinic.)

David Jelley, MD- OU Tulsa Pediatric Diabetes/HHDC-
Jelley, D. H.
 (Site PI), "Diabetes study of Linagliptin and Empagliflozin in children and adolescents (DINAMO)," BI #1218-0091, Sponsored by Boehringer-Ingelheim, Private
Current Funding (Total Cost per Year): $167,460.00
May 9, 2019 - Present

Jelley, D. H. (Site PI), "A Phase 3, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Randomized, Multi-Center Study to Assess the Safety and Efficacy Ofexenatide Once Weekly in Adolescents with Type 2 Diabetes," Sponsored by AstraZeneca, Private
Current Funding (Total Cost per Year): $64,812.00
January 29, 2019 – Present

Susan Sisson, Ph.D., RDN, CHES, FACSM- Department of Nutritional Sciences-
Tribal Epidemiology Center Public Health Infrastructure (CDC-NU58DP006388)
Wellness Around Traditional Community Health (WATCH)
The purpose of this project is to unite the early care and education programs and the health care providers in these tribal communities in North Eastern Oklahoma to enhance the quality of nutrition and physical activity through an engaging classroom curriculum and family outreach. This is a collaborative project to enhance community health and we partner with the Tribal Epidemiology Center and the Wyandotte Nation and Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma. This program is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Southern Plains Tribal Epidemiology Center

Compliance and Technical Assistance for CACFP in Family Child Care Homes (2017-68001-26355)

Happy Healthy Homes

The purpose of this project is to determine the nutrient intake of children in family child care homes and to test a local and state-wide intervention to enhance nutritional quality. This interprofessional project also aims to enhance environmental health and reduce children's exposure to chemicals in collaboration with the College of Public Health. This project is supported by the United States Department of Agriculture and the Department of Nutritional Sciences.

Ashlee Ford Versypt, Ph.D.- Oklahoma State University-
National Science Foundation CAREER 06/1905/24
Role: PI (Single Investigator)
Total Amount: $550,000
“CAREER: Multiscale Modeling of a Virtual Kidney during the Onset and Progression of Diabetic Kidney Disease”
(Ford Versypt, Continued)

National Institutes of Health R35 MIRA ESI 09/1908/24
Role: PI (Single Investigator)
Total Amount: $1,834,680
“Quantitative Systems Biomedicine and Pharmacology for Multiscale Tissue Damage”
(received notice of award on 8/12)

Both of these grants leverage results from Dr. Versypt's HHDC Seed grant 2015-2016 and current OCAST funding (2017-2020) as preliminary results.

Dr. Versypt has also been invited to be a speaker and panelist for Kidney Week (American Society of Nephrology annual meeting) in their early program called Diabetic Kidney Disease: Translating Pathogenic Mechanisms into Therapies

Kevin Short, Ph.D.- Department of Pediatrics, Diabetes & Endocrinology
The most recent paper from our collaboration with Choctaw Nation is out this month in JCEM (Impact factor = 5.6):

Kevin R Short, Jennifer Q Chadwick, April M Teague, Mary A Tullier, Lisa Wolbert, Charlotte Coleman, Kenneth C Copeland, Effect of Obesity and Exercise Training on Plasma Amino Acids and Amino Metabolites in American Indian Adolescents, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 104, Issue 8, August 2019, Pages 3249 3261, 

David Fields, Ph.D.- Department of Pediatrics, Diabetes & Endocrinology

  • “Maternal Obesity, Breast-milk Composition and Infant Growth” sponsored by NICHD was renewed for another 5 years
  • Paper “Maternal Obesity and the human milk metabolome: associations with infant body composition and postnatal weight gain” was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition with an impact factor of 6.926
  • Paper “New charts for the assessment of body composition, according to air-displacement plethysmography at birth and across the first 6-months of life” was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition with an impact factor of 6.926

Kerstin Reinschmidt, Ph.D., MPH- COPH, Department of Health Promotion Sciences-
2018-2019 Principal Investigator, 20% effort (not paid). “Developing and Testing a Diabetes Training to Improve the Health of Oklahomans through an Effective Community Health Worker (CHW) Workforce.” Funding Source: Presbyterian Health Foundation, Total Funds: $50,000. Principal Investigator: Kerstin M. Reinschmidt, Ph.D., MPH.

Shaoning Jiang, Ph.D.- Department of Pediatrics, Diabetes & Endocrinology

  • OK-INBRE Research Project Award (Research project PI, May 2019 - Oct 2021), Title: Developmental programming of mitochondrial biogenesis in maternal diabetes: Role of AMPK
  • OCAST (PI, Sep 2019 - June 2022), Title: Fetal epigenetic programming of mitochondrial biogenesis in diabetes during pregnancy: the role of microRNA-130b

Tomoko Obara, Ph.D. – Department of Cell Biology &
Hiro Matsumoto, Ph.D. – Dept. Biochemistry & Molecular Biology -

Tomomi Matsukura, Chisako Inaba, Esther A. Weygant, Daiki Kitamura, Ralf Janknecht, Hiroyuki Matsumoto, Deborah P. Hyink, Shosaku Kashiwada & Tomoko Obara
“Extracellular vesicles from human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells repair organ damage caused by cadmium poisoning in a medaka model”

Physiol Rep, 7(14), 2019, e14172. https://doi.org/10.14814/phy2.14172

In this paper, we showed that extracellular vesicles prepared from human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells repair organ damages caused by cadmium poisoning in an animal model. The finding establishes a proof of principle based on which regenerative medicine on damaged organs could be built. Dr. Obara, the leading scientist established a provisional US patent for this discovery and a full US patent is now being pursued.

Hui-Ying, Ph.D. – Department of Physiology

Please see the information below on Dr. Ying's paper recently published in Cell Reports.
Select Septate Junction Proteins Direct ROS-Mediated Paracrine Regulation of Drosophila Cardiac Function.
Lim HY, Bao H, Liu Y, Wang W.
Cell Rep. 2019 Aug 6;28(6):1455-1470.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.07.004.

Jian Xu, Ph.D. - Department of Internal Medicine, Diabetes & Endocrinology-

“Loss of endothelial function leads to vascular complications in diabetes. Extending from understanding the roles of endothelial cells in peripheral angiogenesis and inflammation in diabetes, Xu lab currently centers on mechanisms underlying the endothelial regulation of metabolic disorders, such as pancreatic beta-cell degeneration in diabetes, a new research direction supported by PHF/HHDC seed grant.” 

Dharambir Sanghera, PhD, FAHA- Department of Pediatrics, Section of Genetics-

  • Received Regents’ Award for Superior Research and Creative Activity at the Faculty Award Ceremony on April 22, 2019.
  • Dr. Dharambir Sanghera was awarded the PHF-HHDC grant entitled “Genome, metabolome, ancestry and diabetes health disparity on May 6, 2019.
  • Dr. Dharambir Sanghera has recently received a new RO1 from NIH-NIDDK for $2.6 million to identify the association between genetic variants for cardiometabolic disease in a large south Indian cohort of over 3000 individuals and the metabolome. Dr. Ravindranath Duggirala and Dr. Harald Goring from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley are Co-principal investigators. This research will identify the genes associated with novel metabolomics traits and risk for diabetes. The targets will also be validated in other US populations and the molecular targets validated in mouse models and Zebrafish knockouts.

Invited Talks

  • Dharambir Sanghera, Ph.D., FAHA presented “Genetic Epidemiology of Cardiometabolic Disease: Challenges and Future Opportunities for Translational Research” Population Sciences and Epidemiology, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD. May 2, 2019.
  • Dharambir Sanghera, Ph.D., FAHA was honored as ‘Elite Alumnus’ at the Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, India on a special occasion of 550th Birthday of Guru Nanak Dev. Dr. Sanghera gave a general awareness talk “An Overview of Diabetes Mellitus” on May 9, 2019.

Recent publications from Sanghera Lab:

  1. Sanghera DK, Hopkins R, Malon-Parez MW, Bejar C, Tan C, Mussa H, Whitby P, Rao CV, Fung KA, Lightfoot S, Frazer JK, (2019). Targeted sequencing of candidate genes of dyslipidemia in Punjabi Sikhs: Population-specific rare variants in GCKR promote ectopic fat deposition. Plus One DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0211661. PMID: 31369557
  2. Adlam D, Olson TM, …CARDIoGRAMPlusC4D Study Group, Olin JW, Gulati R, Tweet MS, Hayes SN, Samani NJ, Graham RM, Motreff P, Bouatia-Naji N (2018). Association of the PHACTR1/EDN1 Genetic Locus With Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection. J Am Coll Cardiol. 8;73(1):58-66. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2018.09.085.PMID: 30621952
  3. Sidorov E, Sanghera DK, Vanamala, JKP (2019) Biomarker for Ischemic Stroke Using Metabolome: a Clinician Perspective Journal of Stroke 21 (1), 31-41 PMID:30732441
  4. Sanghera DK, Bejar C, Sharma S, Gupta R, Blackett PR, Obesity Genetics and Cardiometabolic Health: Potential for Risk Prediction. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2019 Jan 22. doi: 10.1111/dom.13641. [Epub ahead of print] Review. PMID: 30667137
  5. Larsson SC, Traylor M, Burgess S, Boncoraglio GB, Jern C, Michaëlsson K, Markus HS; MEGASTROKE project of the International Stroke Genetics Consortium. Serum magnesium and calcium levels in relation to ischemic stroke: Mendelian randomization study.Neurology. 2019 Feb 26;92(9):e944-e950.. Epub 2019 Jan 25.PMID: 30804065

Kruti Shah, MD Department of Pediatrics, Diabetes & Endocrinology

Dr. Shah received the PHF clinician-scientist development grant from July 2010 through June 2020 amount of $75,000. The title of the project is “Effect of Maternal Health on Breast Milk microRNA Composition and its Role in Infant Growth”. She is planning to look at the impact of maternal obesity and diabetes on breast miRNA composition and also identify novel miRNAs that are involved in infant growth and body composition.

Darren Lee, Ph.D. - Dean McGee Eye Institute, OUHSC Dept. Of Ophthalmology -

We had a paper accepted that was partially funded by HHDC:
Muhammad, F. Y.*, Peters, K.*, Wang, D., Lee, D. J. (2019). Exacerbation of Autoimmune
Uveitis by Obesity Occurs Through the Melanocortin 5 Receptor. Journal of Leukocyte Biology.
PMID: 31287586. DOI: 10.1002/JLB.MA0119-030RR

All information below is Department of Pediatrics, Diabetes & Endocrinology Faculty and Staff:


Sanghera DK, Bejar C, Sharma S, Gupta R, Blackett PR; Obesity Genetics and Cardiometabolic Health: Potential for Risk Prediction. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2019 Jan 22. doi: 10.1111/dom.13641. Review. PMID: 30667137

Abed E, LaBarbera B, Dvorak J, Zhang Y, Beck J, Talsania M; Prevalence of Dyslipidemia and Factors Affecting Dyslipidemia In Young Adults With Type 1 Diabetes: Evaluation of Statin Prescribing. J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2019 Mar 12. Pii: /j/jpem.ahead-of-print/jpem-2018-0383/jpem-2018-0383.xml. doi:10.1515/jpem-2018-0383. PMID: 30860978


Short K. (Principal Investigator), Kendzor (Co-Investigator) “Reducing Sedentary Time in Favor of Physical Activity in Adolescents” Term Science Grant sponsored by Harold Hamm Diabetes Center, $96,500.

Palle S, (Principal Investigator) Short K, (Co-Investigator) “Evaluating MicroRNA-122 as a Biomarker for Non-invasive Detection of Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in Children” Pilot Grant sponsored by Oklahoma Shared Clinical & Translational Resources, $50,000.

Fields D, (Co-Investigator) “Impact of Exercise on Breastmilk: A Novel Strategy for Obesity and Diabetes Prevention” Harold Hamm Diabetes Team Scientist Award, $96,600.

Fields D, (Principal Investigator) “Maternal Obesity, Breast Milk Composition and Infant Growth” Presbyterian Health Foundation Bridge Grant, $75,000.

Hellman Diana, “Serum miRNA-155 As A Biomarker of NAFLD in Children” selected as a recipient of one of the Rising Star Awards from the Pediatric Endocrine Society in the amount of $2,000.


Shaoning Jiang, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
OK-INBRE Research Project Investigator Grant
Titled: “Developmental Programming of Mitochondrial

Shaoning Jiang, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Titled: “Fetal Epigenetic Programming of Mitochondrial Biogenesis in Diabetes During Pregnancy: the Role of AMPK and microRNA-130b”

David Fields, Ph.D., Associate Professor
RO1 Renewal – received 4% percentile on renewal
Titled: “Maternal Obesity, Breast-milk Composition and Infant Growth”
The following individuals were awarded funding for their recent grant applications to the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center/Presbyterian Health Foundation.

David Sparling, MD, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
HHDC/PHF Team Science Grant
Titled: “The Role of CRISPLD2 in Adipose Function”

Sowmya Krishnan, MD, Associate Professor
HHDC/PHF Seed Grant
Titled: “Impact of Diabetes on Bone Structure and Metabolism in Adolescents and Young Adults”

Kruti Shah, MD, Clinical Instructor
PHF Clinical Scientist Development Grant
Titled: “Effect of Maternal Health on Breast Milk microRNA Composition and its Role in Infant Growth”


New Charts for the Assessment of Body Composition, According to Air-displacement Plethysmography, at Birth and Across the First 6 Mo of Life.

Norris T, Ramel SE, Catalano P, Caoimh CN, Roggero P, Murray D, Fields DA, Demerath EW, Johnson W.

Am J Clin Nutr. 2019 May 1;109(5):1353-1360. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqy377. PMID: 31051509

Association of Full Breastfeeding Duration with Postpartum Weight Retention in a Cohort of Predominantly Breastfeeding Women.

Tahir MJ, Haapala JL, Foster LP, Duncan KM, Teague AM, Kharbanda EO, McGovern PM, Whitaker KM, Rasmussen KM, Fields DA, Harnack LJ, Jacobs DR Jr, Demerath EW.

Nutrients. 2019 Apr 25;11(4). pii: E938. doi: 10.3390/nu11040938. PMID: 31027268

Maternal Obesity and the Human Milk Metabolome: Associations with Infant Body Composition and Postnatal Weight Gain.

Isganaitis E, Venditti S, Matthews TJ, Lerin C, Demerath EW, Fields DA.

Am J Clin Nutr. 2019 Apr 4. pii: nqy334. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqy334. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 30968129

Relationship of Maternal Weight Status Before, During, and After Pregnancy with Breast Milk Hormone Concentrations.

Dadres S, G, Whitaker KM, Haapala JL, Foster L, Smith KDTeague AM, Jacobs DR Jr, Kharbanda EO, McGovern PM, Schoenfuss TC, Le LJ, Harnack L, Fields DA, Demerath EW.

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2019 Apr;27(4):621-628. doi: 10.1002/oby.22409. PMID: 30900412

Collaborative Implementation of a Community-based Exercise Intervention With a Partnering Rural American Indian Community.

Chadwick JQ, Tullier MA, Wolbert L, Coleman C, Branam DE, Wharton DF, Cannady TK, Copeland KCShort KR. Clin Trials. 2019 Apr 3:1740774519839066. doi: 10.1177/1740774519839066. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 30939923

Genomic Research and American Indian Tribal Communities in Oklahoma: Learning From Past Research Misconduct and Building Future Trusting Partnerships.

Chadwick JQCopeland KC, Branam DE, Erb-Alvarez JA, Khan SI, Peercy MT, Rogers ME, Saunkeah BR, Tryggestad JB, Wharton DF.

Am J Epidemiol. 2019 Apr 24. pii: kwz062. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwz062. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 31081852

Diabetes-related Events in Adolescents and Young Adults: Opportunities for Psychosocial Interventions.

LaBarbera B, Dvorak J, Zhang Y, Jeter K, Talsania M, Beck J.

Psychol Health Med. 2019 Apr 11:1-10. doi: 10.1080/13548506.2019.1597976. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 30971099

Continuous Glucose Monitoring Profiles in Healthy Non-Diabetic Participants: A Multicenter Prospective Study.

Shah VN, DuBose SN, Li Z, Beck RW, Peters AL, Weinstock RS, Kruger D, Tansey M, Sparling D, Woerner S, Vendrame F, Bergenstal R, Tamborlane WV, Watson SE, Sherr J.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2019 Apr 25. pii: jc.2018-02763. doi: 10.1210/jc.2018-02763. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 31127824

Higher Maternal Diet Quality during Pregnancy and Lactation Is Associated with Lower Infant Weight-For-Length, Body Fat Percent, and Fat Mass in Early Postnatal Life.

Tahir MJ, Haapala JL, Foster LP, Duncan KMTeague AM, Kharbanda EO, McGovern PM, Whitaker KM, Rasmussen KM, Fields DA, Jacobs DR Jr, Harnack LJ, Demerath EW.

Nutrients. 2019 Mar 15;11(3). pii: E632. doi: 10.3390/nu11030632. PMID: 30875943

Effect of Obesity and Exercise Training on Plasma Amino Acids and Amino Metabolites in American Indian Adolescents. Short KRChadwick JQ, Teague AM, Tullier MA, Wolbert L, Coleman C, Copeland KCCThe Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. April 11, 2019 [Epub ahead of print] Tryggestad, JB; Teague, AM; Sparling, DP; Chernausek, SD; “Effect of Adiposity on MicroRNA-155 Expression in Subcutaneous Fat Is Cell-Type Specific”, INBRE/COBRE Conference, OKC, June 2019.

Jensen, ME; Teague, AM; Chernausek, SD; Jiang, S; “Metformin During Pregnancy Increases Fetal Liver Mitochondrial Biogenesis and Improves Offspring Long-Term Metabolic Outcome”, INBRE/COBRE Conference, OKC, June 2019.

Jiang, S; Teague, AM; Tryggestad, JB; Chernasuek, SD; “Effects of Metformin On Epigenetic Regulation of Placental Mitochondrial Biogenesis in Maternal Diabetes, INBRE/COBRE Conference, OKC, June 2019.