Jean E. Schaffer, M.D.

Jean E. Schaffer, M.D.

RNA, metabolism, diabetes, lipids

Professor
Internal Medicine
Cardiology
Developmental Biology

Molecular Cell Biology Program
Biochemistry Program

  • Keywords:
    RNA, metabolism, diabetes, lipids

  • Research:
    The Schaffer laboratory studies fundamental cellular mechanisms of metabolic stress, the process whereby excess metabolic substrates lead to cell dysfunction or cell death, and the contributions of this process to complications of diabetes. We are particularly interested in the lipotoxicity that results from high circulating free fatty acids and triglycerides in metabolic diseases. To carry out this work we have developed novel genetically modified mouse models of diabetic cardiomyopathy, explored alterations in cellular lipid metabolism using sensitive mass spectrometry based approaches, and carried out genetic screens to delineate the molecular events in lipotoxicity. The latter approach has identified an unanticipated role for small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) and regulated RNA degradation in the response to metabolic stress.