School of Medicine

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  • David M Garcia

    David M Garcia

    Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Chemical and Systems Biology

    Bio I received a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from UC Santa Cruz, with one year of my bachelor's spent at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. Returning to the Bay Area where I grew up, I worked briefly at the VA Medical Center, San Francisco. I then did my Ph.D. studies at MIT, in David Bartel’s lab at the Whitehead Institute. I discovered new features of microRNA recognition sequences that were so predictive of mRNA repression that they were integrated into a major update of, a microRNA target prediction program that receives ~20,000 visitors per month. I became interested in the link between protein homeostasis and RNA regulation, and joined Dan Jarosz’s lab at Stanford to study novel prion-like states of RNA binding proteins. My interest in prions also led me to a collaboration with Jon Clardy of Harvard, in which we identified for the first time an example of a bacterially secreted molecule that potently induces a prion. I continue to be fascinated with the biologically beneficial roles of prions, how they are induced in nature and the resulting physiological consequences, as well as their characteristic molecular features. Once I complete my training at Stanford I look forward to leading my own research group. In addition to research, I have longstanding interests in science communication for the public (see publications) and celebrating diversity in the academy through outreach opportunities.

  • Pratyush Gupta

    Pratyush Gupta

    Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Chemical and Systems Biology

    Current Research and Scholarly Interests Diabetes and insulin-resistance affect a staggering 8.3% of world’s population and are a leading cause of death worldwide (World Health Organization). It has a huge impact on global health. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in U.S. and more than 1/3 of U.S. population is resistant to insulin (American Diabetes Association). Insulin-resistance is tightly linked to adipocyte differentiation dysfunction and to defects in adipogenesis. Thus, it becomes necessary to study the molecular and genetic implications of adipogenesis in order to understand mechanisms that can help us to treat insulin-resistance and diabetes. Adipocytes store fat and since accumulation of fat (or obesity) is directly related to development of insulin-resistance, proper control of adipogenesis can link to regulation of accumulation of fat and help us develop strategies to prevent diabetes. That is the goal of this research – to understand how adipocyte differentiation is regulated and use that information to develop therapeutics. The overall goal is find out what feedback loops participate in controlling the terminal differentiation rate of adipocytes as a means to control fat storage and prevent insulin-resistance and diabetes. Through this research, I intend to investigate how post-translational regulation such as proteasomal-degradation, sumoylation and neddylation are involved in mediating the differentiation switch and adipogenesis. This knowledge will be crucial in developing therapeutic strategies to prevent insulin-resistance and diabetes. Diabetes being a leading cause of concern for people, my research will have significant positive consequences on the health of people throughout the world.