In part 5, the conclusion of this Exclusive Interview, Dr. Mark Huising talks with Diabetes in Control Publisher Steve Freed during the ADA meeting in San Diego, California about what he’s learned from colleagues and the importance of collaboration.
Dr. Mark O. Huising, PhD, is an assistant professor at UC Davis in California. His work has been focused on the evolution of immune and endocrine systems in early vertebrates.
Transcript of this video segment:
Steve Freed: How long have you been involved in research?
Mark Huising: In research? Oh, I think about 20 years if you count my undergraduate education where I also did research.
Steve Freed: So including your undergraduate, what is probably the most important thing that you’ve discovered besides the self-driving cars?
Mark Huising: No I won’t take credit for those nor will I take credit for the Internet. (laughter) I think this feedback control. It really its important. It makes perfect sense for those of us who study physiology. Our whole body is driven by negative feedback. To me it was surprising that this hadn’t been figured out yet. It sets the homeostatic set point for glucose. Healthy individuals, folks with no diabetes, they set their glucose based on the feedback that I just described to you. And if that feedback breaks down…I saw a talk today in the same session that I presented in, with a mutation of glucokinase and that mutation of glucokinase had an immediate and dramatic effect on the patients with an activating mutation causing hypoglycemia. I mean it illustrates that a single mutation just in a delta cell affecting this feedback control can have profound effects on somebody’s glucose levels so I think that’s really important and I think it behooves us to know about these things so that we can take advantage of it when trying to design better ways to manage disease.
Steve Freed: So, have you learned anything here, and it’s not over yet, but that can possibly help your research?
Mark Huising: Oh, I’ve learned a ton. I always learn from listening to colleagues. I always learn not just from the science but also from the techniques, the creativity that they put on display and tackling the problems that they study and it’s always wonderful to come to a meeting like this and learn from them and then talk to them and find ways to collaborate so that we can help each other do the best that we can and finding out the most that we can and I am big believer in understanding how things work. If you don’t understand how things work it becomes difficult to fix it. I know sometimes we don’t understand how drugs work but I am a big proponent to understanding things and then using that information hopefully to our benefit and if it were just one individual, there is only so much you can do so we need this scientific community to help all of us improve the work that we are able to do.
Steve Freed: Well I thank you for what you do because without the research, we wouldn’t be here.
Mark Huising: Thank you very much for that. Thank you for taking the time.