Dr. DiAngelo teaches lecture and laboratory courses in Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, Genetics, and Immunology.
After a meal, multiple organs recognize the availability of nutrients and as a result, the intake of these nutrients as well as their storage as glycogen and fat are increased.
For example, specific populations of neurons in the brain sense changes in nutrient availability leading to alterations in an animal’s feeding behavior, while in liver and adipose tissue, both the peptide hormone insulin as well as the nutrients themselves stimulate the synthesis of glycogen and triglycerides for long-term storage. The research in the DiAngelo lab focuses on the genes and pathways that different tissues use to control energy homeostasis.
To address this problem, we use a combination of cellular, molecular, biochemical and genetic approaches in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. Fruit flies have a simple nervous system and store triglycerides and glycogen in a liver and adipose-like organ known as the fat body using mechanisms highly conserved from flies to humans, providing a simple and ideal system to study the molecular control of energy metabolism.
The long-term goal of my research program is to work side by side with students to enhance our understanding of the mechanisms controlling feeding and metabolism in response to nutrient abundance.
Cezary Mikoluk, Alexis A. Nagengast, and Justin R. DiAngelo (2018). “The splicing factor transformer2 (tra2) functions in the Drosophila fat body to regulate lipid storage.” Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 495, 1528-1533.
Ryan A. Bennick, Alexis A. Nagengast, and Justin R. DiAngelo (2019). “The SR proteins SF2 and RBP1 regulate triglyceride storage in the fat body of Drosophila.” Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 516, 928-933.
Ph.D., Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Pennsylvania;
B.S., Biological Sciences, University of Delaware