For people with diabetes, maintaining blood glucose levels within the nondiabetic range is effective in delaying or even preventing long-term complications, but achieving near normoglycemia is still challenging for these patients. The current fast-acting insulin still has relatively slow absorption after subcutaneous injection which leads to delayed insulin response and sub-optimal control of glycemia. Furthermore, the long duration of action (4-5 hours) may lead to post-meal hypoglycemia. Innovation in insulin design has been hampered by the hexameric status of insulin; an ultrafast-acting insulin requires a monomeric insulin molecule. Therefore, despite millions of dollars invested, a truly monomeric, ultrafast-acting insulin remains to be invented. In this presentation, I will discuss our bio-inspired approach to utilize a venom insulin as a potential candidate with ultrafast-acting properties.
Danny Chou is an assistant professor in Department of Biochemistry at University of Utah. His lab focuses on using synthetic organic chemistry to develop new peptide and protein therapeutics in the area of metabolic diseases. Danny has received a number of honors including Vertex Scholar, JDRF Postdoctoral Fellowship and most recently American Diabetes Association Junior Faculty Development Award.