HHDC Research Facilities

Research professionals and investigators can gain access to OU Health Harold Hamm Diabetes Center core facilities at a free or discounted rate for further development of research projects. To apply for access, contact the core facility director listed below.

Current Core Facilities & Projects

Contribute to laboratory advances that translate into improvements in care for people who live with diabetes.

Tiangang Li, Ph.D. Lab
Associate Professor

Fatty liver disease is a condition where excessive fat accumulates in the liver, which over time causes liver injury, inflammation, and fibrosis. Fatty liver disease is very common among patients with obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Dr. Li’s research focuses on the function and regulation of cholesterol and bile acid metabolism in the liver, which aims to understand how these pathways influence fatty liver disease pathogenesis and if pharmacological approaches can target these pathways to ameliorate fatty liver and insulin resistance and lower blood glucose and lipids.

Archana Unnikrishnan, Ph.D. Lab
Assistant Professor

Dr. Unnikrishnan’s research has two main focuses: 1) the effect of early-life dietary restriction on insulin sensitivity during adulthood and 2) the role played by DNA methylation in dietary restriction-mediated insulin sensitivity. Her preliminary work shows that early-life dietary restriction improves glucose and insulin tolerance within days of implementing the restricted diet and has a metabolic memory, i.e., the effect of dietary restriction on insulin sensitivity and glucoregulation persists even when the dietary restriction is discontinued. To understand the mechanism behind the metabolic memory, she uses a novel technology to measure genome-wide patterns of DNA methylation and demethylation in all glucoregulatory tissues from mice fed ad libitum versus a restricted diet. This research holds promise to understand how early modification of genes sensitive to nutrition can pattern metabolism for a lifetime.

Karen Jonscher, Ph.D. Lab
Associate Professor

Understanding the mechanisms whereby a mother’s obesity and/or poor diet primes her child to an increased risk for developing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in later life is a critical question with significant relevance to human health and the diabetes field. Dr. Jonscher’s research focuses on understanding how maternal gut microbial dysbiosis due to a Western-style diet programs the innate immune system in offspring toward inflammation and accelerates risk for NAFLD. She has found that a dietary antioxidant essential for gut bacterial function, pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ), reduces liver inflammation and development of NAFLD in later life in offspring from obese mice, possibly through programming of innate immune cells. Her translational studies seek to determine if PQQ, or gut microbial products affected by PQQ, are decreased in breastmilk from obese mothers and can be targeted for dietary intervention in lactating mothers.

Michael Rudolph, Ph.D. Lab
Assistant Professor

Dr. Rudolph is working to understand how obesity and diabetes can be protected against early in life. He studies how oils and fats present in early-life nutrition can condition the way adipocytes (fat cells) develop and grow throughout the lifespan. He is especially interested in how maternal fats influence the way in which babies accrue their adipose (fat) tissues. His lab has developed several state-of-the-art ways to study the cells and molecules involved in these processes.

Satellite Animal Facility

The Satellite Animal Facility provides Hamm Diabetes Center members with induction, monitoring and maintenance of diabetic animals and coordinates the sharing of diabetic animal tissues. Services include:

  • Provide technical support and consultation for induction of diabetes in animal models
  • Supply diabetic animal tissues for research
  • Breed and maintain commonly used diabetic animals for research
Jian-xing (Jay) Ma, M.D., Ph.D.
405-271-4372

Histology and Imaging Core

The Histology Core provides Hamm Diabetes Center members with tissue processing, embedding, sectioning, and histochemical and immunohistochemical staining of mounted slides for both paraffin-embedded and cryo-preserved tissue preparations. The core facility has trained histology technicians who will work with researchers to accomplish these goals.

In addition, the core provides top-quality advanced instrumentation and expertise to obtain microscopic images with light, epifluorescence and Nomarski prism optics, as well as the software for morphometric analysis and to produce publication quality images.

Histology Core

Allan Wiechmann
405-271-8001 ext. 45522

Imaging Core

Jody Summers
405-271-8001 ext. 46478

Other Core Facilities

In addition to core facilities operated by Harold Hamm Diabetes Center, the Office of the Vice President for Research at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC) offers several core facilities, including mass spectrometry and proteomics, DNA sequencing and genomics, and flow cytometry and imaging facilities.

Find out more about accessing additional Health Sciences Center research facilities.

More About Diabetes Center Research

Find out more about research at OU Health Harold Hamm Diabetes Center:

Volunteer for Diabetes Clinical Trials

You may qualify to join a clinical trial at OU Health Harold Hamm Diabetes Center in Oklahoma City, whether or not you live with diabetes. Enroll in our Volunteer Registry to receive up-to-date information on clinical trials of potential interest to you, with no obligation to participate.

Adult clinical trials in Oklahoma City – 405-271-3604

Pediatric clinical trials in Oklahoma City – 405-271-3303

Pediatric clinical trials in Tulsa – 918-619-4803

Request an Appointment or Get Clinical Trials Information

Request an appointment for diabetes care or find out more about opportunities to participate in diabetes clinical trials at Harold Hamm Diabetes Center in Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

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