I am currently working on the project entitled “The role of hepatic aquaporins in the fatty acid-induced accumulation of bioactive lipids and insulin resistance in HepG2 liver cells”.
Despite the clear correlation between obesity and type 2 diabetes, the actual mechanism of obesity-induced insulin resistance has not been fully elucidated. We are trying to understand if aquaporin proteins - membrane channels engaged in the trafficking of water and other small molecules – take part in this process. Aquaporins are indeed present both in adipocytes and hepatocytes and are involved in the transmission of glycerol, an important constituent of intracellular lipids, between other molecules. We are examining if the accumulation of bioactive lipids (ceramides and diacylglycerols) in hepatocytes, induced by a fatty acid load, is linked to the function of one or more aquaporins. We are also investigating aquaporins involvement in insulin resistance development, checking if their modulation affects hepatocytes glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity. This study will be conducted on the basis of the proteomics approach, aiming to discover new targets useful in diabetes research.
Department: Department of Medical Biology
Supervisor: Piotr Zabielski, PhD, DSc, assistant professor, Head of the Department of Medical Biology
Piotr Zabielski, PhD, DSc, assistant professor, Head of the Department of Medical Biology
Agnieszka U. Blachnio-Zabielska, PhD, DSc, assistant professor, Head of the Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Metabolic Disorders
Arkadiusz Żbikowski, MSc, assistant, Department of Medical Biology
Hi! I am Mauro Galli and I am an Italian PhD student enrolled in the “ImPRESS HORIZON 2020 COFUND doctoral programme” held at the Medical University of Białystok. I studied Industrial Biotechnology at the University of Milano-Bicocca where I built a multidisciplinary curriculum. During my bachelor course, I had an internship in the biochemistry laboratory of the IBSA SA company in Switzerland. Though I was offered an opportunity to continue with the company, I preferred to face new challenges at an MSc course. I spent my undergraduate period at the “Protein transport and secretion” lab, San Raffaele Scientific Institute in Milan, where I had the opportunity to work with several distinguished researchers. I worked in the field of redox biology, studying mainly aquaporin 8 and its role in signalling as a hydrogen peroxide channel. I spent two years after my thesis as a research fellow at the same lab, working on this fascinating aquaporin world and taking part in the discovery of the oxidative stress-related closure mechanism of aquaporin 8. In 2018 I started my PhD programme in the exciting settings of the Medical University of Białystok, focusing on diabetes and insulin resistance. If you want to get in touch with me and have a scientific chat or if you have something to propose, just write me an e-mail.