Faculty Profile

Christopher Rhodes
Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
Professor of Medicine

Academic Interests

Dr. Rhodes’ research focuses on signal transduction mechanisms in the pancreatic ß-cells that control their function, especially insulin production and secretion. It is now widely acknowledged that the onset of type-2 diabetes is marked by ß-cell secretory dysfunction and death. Dr. Rhodes’ laboratory also investigates molecular signal transduction mechanisms that control ß-cell growth and survival, with a view to finding novel therapies that delay the onset and perhaps even prevent diabetes. Currently, his laboratory has several ongoing research projects including unveiling the molecular mechanism behind specific translational control of proinsulin biosynthesis (the major regulation of insulin production); examining the role of FoxO and NFAT transcription factors in controlling IRS-2 gene expression in ß-cells that is key for their survival; investigating H2O2 as a bona fide nutrient generated secondary signal in ß-cells; unraveling the CNS neuronal network that controls pancreatic endocrine ß- and ?-cell function; examining the interface between the ß-cell and immune system in the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes; and also, functionally evaluating ‘insulin-producing cells’ derived from alternative sources, such as human embryonic stem cells, that might eventually be used as surrogate ß-cells as a cell-replacement therapy to treat type 1 diabetes.

Clinical Interests



  • Tsunekawa S, Briaud I. Demozay D, Briaud I, McCuaig J, Accili D, Stein R, Rhodes CJ. FoxO Feedback Control of Basal IRS-2 Expression in Pancreatic ß-Cells is Distinct From that in Hepatocytes. Diabetes. 2011 60: 2883-2891.
  • Demozay D, Tsunekawa S, Shah R, Rhodes CJ. Specific Glucose-Induced Control of Insulin Receptor Substrate-2 Expression is Mediated via Ca2+-Dependent Calcineurin/NFAT Signaling in Primary Pancreatic Islet ß-cells. Diabetes. 2011 60: 2892-2902.
  • Atkinson MA, Bluestone JA, Eisenbarth GS, Hebrok M, Herold KC, Accili D, Pietropaolo M, Arvan PR, Von Herrath M, Markel DS, Rhodes CJ. How Does Type 1 Diabetes Develop: The Notion of Homicide or ß-Cell Suicide Revisited. Diabetes 2011 60: 1370-1379.
  • Wicksteed BL Uchizono Y, Alarcón C, McCuaig JF, Shalev A, Rhodes CJ. A cis-element in the 5' untranslated region of the preproinsulin mRNA (ppIGE) is required for glucose regulation of proinsulin translation. Cell Metab. 2007 5: 221-227.
  • Marsh BJ, Alarcón C, Soden C, Wicksteed BL, Yaekura K, Costin AJ, Morgan GP, Rhodes CJ. Regulated autophagy controls hormone content in secretory-deficient pancreatic endocrine ß-cells. Mol. Endo. 2007 21: 2255-2269