Alan Attie

Credentials: PhD

Position title: Professor


Phone: (608) 262-1372

543a Biochemistry Addition
433 Babcock Dr
Madison, WI 53706

Attie Laboratory

Focus Groups

Signal Transduction


PhD, University of California-San Diego

Research Summary

Genetics of type 2 diabetes and lipid metabolism

Research Detail

Genetics of type 2 diabetes and lipid metabolism

Our laboratory studies genetic and biochemical processes underlying metabolic diseases, especially obesity and diabetes, and disorders in cholesterol and lipoprotein metabolism.

Genetic pipeline.

We use mouse genetics to discover new genes and pathways that lead to metabolic disease. Our main focus has been obesity-induced type 2 diabetes. Obesity increases the demand for insulin (insulin resistance), thus placing a demand on pancreatic b-cells to secrete more insulin. The capacity of b-cells to meet this demand is largely affected by genetic variation. We have identified several genes that affect b-cell replication and insulin secretion.

Newly discovered genes.

We recently completed a screen for genes that affect insulin secretion. We identified 30 genetic regions harboring causal genes. We selected three regions and generated knockout mouse models that validate these genes. The genes encode a protein kinase, a protein phosphatase, and a transcription factor. These genes are the gateway into novel pathways that regulate insulin secretion.

Gene causal networks and diabetes.

By combining global gene expression profiling and genetics, we are able to construct causal networks linking specific genes with diabetes phenotypes. We are applying our genetic and bioinformatic data to identify key drivers of gene expression

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