Larry Moss, MD

Faculty Member, Duke Molecular Physiology Institute and Sarah W. Stedman Nutrition and Metabolism Center

Position

Associate Professor of Medicine Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism & Nutrition

Contact

Carmichael Building

919 479 2310

larry.moss@duke.edu

Summary

Larry G. Moss, MD is a Physician/Scientist who trained at Baylor College of Medicine, Harvard Medical School (Brigham and Women’s and MGH) and UCSF. Larry came to Duke University Medical Center and the Sarah W. Stedman Center in 2005 as an associate professor of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Nutrition after serving on the Endocrine faculties of UCSF, BCM and Tufts Medical School. While wearing his Physician’s hat, Dr. Larry Moss established the Endocrinology and Diabetes Service at Durham Regional Hospital in 2006. He also served as Chief Medical Officer of Duke (Durham) Regional from 2007-2009 and was recognized for leading improvements in patient safety and clinical quality, while expanding services. He continues to serve in the Division of Endocrinology at Duke University Hospital as a consulting clinician and educator. Dr. Larry Moss is a Senior Scientist on the DMPI Staff, contributing to overall research direction on many projects with a focus on pancreatic islet biology. His expertise in Bioinformatics and Genetics as well as advanced microscopy provides a broad and valuable resource. He has pioneered the use of the zebrafish as a diabetes disease model organism and demonstrated that zebrafish exhibit robust beta cell regeneration.  Pursuing the goal of diabetes therapy, zebrafish pancreatic regeneration is being exploited as a discovery platform for genetic and small molecule screening.

Our basic interest is focused on the molecular, cellular and pathobiology of the pancreatic islet. For the past 13 years, my laboratory has been utilizing the zebrafish model to study embryonic pancreatic islet development and growth. Currently the primary interest has been on understanding the remarkable process by which adult zebrafish can regenerate their pancreatic beta cells after near total destruction (1). This effort, in collaboration with Dr. Jennifer Moss, involves genetics, in vivo cell biology using advanced microscopy technologies, and chemical biology (2). The guiding principle is to validate key findings in mammalian systems with the ultimate goal of translation to human clinical medicine.

This line of investigation in mammals has evolved into a collaborative partnership with the Lab of Dr. Chris Newgard where we are working in close partnership with Dr. Hans Hohmeier examining rodent and human islet biology. Our group's role consists of computational data analysis, genomics, tissue imaging, and small molecule compound discovery. This interaction has led to recent publications describing novel actions of Nkx6.1 and Pdx1 in beta cell growth and function (3,4).

Basic Research Interests of our Lab

  1. Pancreatic islet regeneration and stem cell biology.
  2. Zebrafish as a model organism for developmental biology, pathobiology, and drug discovery.
  3. Development and integration of genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics tools for metabolic disease research.
  4. Development of imaging technology for in vivo analysis and high-throughput bioassays.
  5. Direction of bioinformatics and genetics components of collaborative studies with other Institute investigators on rodent models of diabetes, islet function, and metabolism, as well as on human studies of diabetes, obesity and neuroendocrine neoplasia.

New Directions for our lab include:

  1. Systems Biology
  2. Integration of ‘omics (transcriptomics, epigenomics, metabolomics and proteomics) data generated by DMPI collaborators, especially placing this information into the phenotypic context of cell biology and physiology.
  3. Development of techniques for the analysis of heterogeneous tissue such as the pancreatic islet or biopsy tissue samples to derive cell-specific contributions to improve experimental interpretations.
  4. Using computational techniques, in partnership with the Duke Cancer center, to interrogate neuroendocrine tumors for clues to explain their phenotype plasticity and growth regulation that could potentially impact clinical care.

Collaborators

Chris Newgard, PhD
Jennifer Moss, PhD
Hans Hohmeier, MD,PhD
Jeff Tessem, PhD
Heather Hayes, PhD
Jon Haldeman, PhD