Robert A. Harris, Ph.D.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Iowa State University, B.S. Chemistry 1962
Purdue University, Ph.D. Biochemistry 1965
University of Wisconsin, Institute for Enzyme Research, Postdoctoral Training
Indiana University School of Medicine, Showalter Professor, Distinguished Professor, and Chairman of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
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Research areas of interest:
My research has long been focused on the mitochondrial kinases and phosphatases that regulate the pyruvate dehydrogenase and branched-chain α-keto acid dehydrogenase complexes. The 5 kinases and 3 phosphatases responsible for regulation of these complexes were cloned and characterized in my laboratory. Increasing pyruvate dehydrogenase complex activity by pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase deficiency improves hepatic insulin sensitivity and ameliorates hepatic steatosis, suggesting pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase is a potential therapeutic target for hepatic steatosis, insulin resistance, and diabetes. My current effort is focused on defining the roles of the mitochondrial kinases and phosphatases in diabetes, cancer, and inflammation.