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Julia Parnis

MSc, PhD

Novo Nordisk Postdoctoral Research Fellow

I completed an MSc in Biochemistry (2001) at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a PhD in Medical Neurosciences (2013) at Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany. Being interested in bioenergetics and mitochondrial function, beta cells fascinated me by their unique physiology. Therefore, in 2013 I pursued my research interests in the laboratory of Professor Guy Rutter at Imperial College London, studying the effects of mitochondrial genes deregulated in type 2 diabetes on pancreatic beta cell function.

In 2015, I was awarded a Novo Nordisk Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in the laboratories of Professor Houman Ashrafian and Professor Patrik Rorsman, located at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics and the Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology & Metabolism. This fellowship allows me to investigate further a crucial link between bioenergetics and diabetes. My current project focuses on the role of AMPK in islet secretory physiology. Being an “energy sensor”, AMPK plays an important role in beta and alpha cell function, and the regulation of its activity may reveal new insights into the physiology of both insulin and glucagon secretion, adding to our knowledge of the pathogenesis of diabetes with potential translational implication.