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Dr. Jen Ikle completed a combined MD/PhD program at the University of Colorado Denver, Anschutz Medical campus. While earning her PhD, she worked in the lab of Dr. David Clouthier studying genetics and transcriptional regulatory networks, with an emphasis on craniofacial development in the embryo. After completion of her MD, Jen completed both Pediatrics Residency and Fellowship in Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes at Washington University in St. Louis and St. Louis Children’s Hospital. During her fellowship, Jen worked in the lab of Dr. Colin Nichols where she developed a passion for regulation of insulin secretion from the beta cells of the pancreas. She has a specific interest in the role of ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channels. Genetic disruption of these channels leads to neonatal diabetes (in KATP gain of function mutations) or congenital hyperinsulinism (in KATP loss of function mutations). Jen also has a clinical interest in diabetes and hyperinsulinism.
Jen is interested in the genetic factors that lead to abnormal beta-cell function and insulin secretion, causing disorders such as hyperinsulinism and neonatal diabetes. Jen’s current research focus is the use of zebrafish models, combined with genetics and genomics, to understand cellular and molecular mechanisms of glucose metabolism and elucidate previously unknown players involved in the regulation of insulin secretion.