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Dr. Larry Denner

University of Texas Medical Branch
301 University Blvd.

Brief Biography:

Dr. Denner is a graduate of the University of California, Irvinewhere he earned a B.S. in Biology. He completed a Ph.D. in Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine where he subsequently trained in Molecular Endocrinology in the Department of Cell Biology before joining the faculty. He then moved to a start-up drug discovery company in Houston, Texas Biotechnology Corporation, as a Senior Scientist where he began working on diabetes and cardiovascular disease. He was promoted through the ranks to Director of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology. In addition to the many diverse adventures associated with building a start-up company inHouston, he was a key scientist in founding, funding, and starting a subsidiary in Berlin, Germany. Dr. Denner joined theUniversity of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston,Texas in 2003 where he is currently Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Endocrinology. He is the Director of the Miriam and Emmett McCoy Stem Cells and Diabetes Mass Spectrometry Research Laboratory as well as the Associate Director of Research of the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Diabetes Center. In these capacities, Dr. Denner is committed to bringing cutting-edge technologies such as mass spectrometry-based proteomics to therapeutic discovery in the scientific community by translating research discoveries to improvements in patient care. He is also an international leader in engineering adult umbilical cord blood-derived stem cells for a cure of type 1 diabetes.

Dr. Denner’s educational service is broad with an emphasis on stem cells, diabetes, Alzheimer’s Disease, and traumatic brain injury. He has provided invited testimony on stem cells to the Texas Senate and House of Representatives and assisted Senator Jane Nelson writing a stem cell bill in 2009. Since 2006, Dr. Denner has initiated and championed state legislative initiatives on behalf of the Texas Renal Coalition for end stage renal disease and the UTMB Stark Diabetes Center for a diabetes community outreach educational program. His efforts have been instrumental in bringing over $10M in state appropriations to prevention and control programs in Texas communities. He also holds membership in national and international societies for stem cells, diabetes, neuroscience, and mass spectrometry research. At UTMB, he teaches medical and graduate students in their regular curriculum as well as specialty upper-level courses. He mentors graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, medical interns and residents, and junior faculty.


Academic positions:

Professor, Division of Endocrinology, Department of Internal Medicine

Member, Mitchell Center for Neurodegenerative Disease




Director, Miriam and Emmett McCoy Stem Cells and Diabetes Mass Spectrometry Research Laboratory


Director of Research, Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Diabetes Center


Member, University of Texas Community Outreach Program


Scientist, Sealy Center for Molecular Medicine


Scholar, James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy (Rice University)


Research interests:

My laboratory is focused on translational research for the discovery and validation of novel therapeutic opportunities and of biomarkers for the diagnosis and management of diseases. These approaches include studies in humans, animal models of disease, and cell culture with particular emphasis on signal transduction pathways and networks that regulate information flow, especially via phosphorylation. Using state-of-the-art mass spectrometry with a novel combination of conceptual approaches, my laboratory has established global, quantitative methods for discovery of dysregulated proteins and phosphoproteins from cells and tissues in animal models of disease.

Specific project areas include:

1) understanding the mechanisms of action of cognitive enhancing therapeutics that modulate insulin resistance in an animal model of Alzheimer’s Disease for implementation in human clinical trials

2) discovering new therapeutic opportunities and dysregulated signaling mechanisms in insulin resistance in renal cortical complications of diabetic nephropathy in an animal model of type 2 diabetes

3) interrogating insulin signaling in female reproductive dysfunction in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome and animal models

4) biomarker discovery in Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, traumatic brain injury, hepatocellular carcinoma, and drug addiction

5) dynamic regulation of the composition and phosphorylation of multiprotein complexes

6) discovering the linkages between insulin resistance-dependent diabetes, proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines, and biopsychosocial metrics

7) engineering human adult umbilical cord blood stem cells into islet-like functional structures for a cure/treatment for type 1 diabetes

8) public policy and legislative advocacy for stem cell research in the state of Texas

9) community outreach in diabetes, end-stage renal disease, and stem cells


What I think of the idea behind WebmedCentral:

This is a progressive idea that is visionary in facilitating the dissemination and discussion of contemporary biomedical research to integrate basic, translational, and clinical research in the improvement of human lives.