Svetlana Mojsov, Ph.D.Research Associate Professor
Laboratory of Cellular Physiology and Immunology
Dr. Mojsov's long-standing interests have been in understanding how peptides and small proteins regulate physiological processes in healthy and disease states. The focus of her studies has been in investigating the mechanism by which one of the gluco-regulatory peptides, glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), regulates glucose metabolism. GLP-1 belongs to the class of peptides called incretins that function to connect the uptake of nutrients with glucose metabolism.
In clinical studies that Dr. Mojsov conducted with the Diabetes Unit at the Massachusetts General Hospital, administration of GLP-1 to patients with type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes together with a meal eliminated the postprandial rise of glucose in circulation. The glucose lowering effects of GLP-1 resulted from its ability to stimulate insulin release and inhibit the secretion of glucagon, the other gluco-regulatory hormone produced by the á-cells in the pancreas. Based on Dr. Mojsov's work, Novo Nordisk developed a GLP-1 analog as a new therapeutic agent for type 2 diabetes, recently approved in Europe under the trade name Victoza.
Currently, Dr. Mojsov is conducting studies that address the function of GLP-1 in regulating glucose metabolism in nonmammalian vertebrates, using zebrafish as a model. Dr. Mojsov's experiments have shown that differences in the function of GLP-1 in fish and mammals are reflected in the differences in the ligand specificities of fish and mammalian GLP-1 receptors. This line of research will lead to a better understanding of how different species adapt their glucose metabolism in response to changes in availability of nutrients and diets and may eventually help to devise new strategies to treat obesity and diabetes.
Aspects of Dr. Mojsov's work also interface with ongoing research in Ralph Steinman's laboratory and relate to understanding the function of different peptides in dendritic cell biology.
Dr. Mojsov received her bachelor's degree in physical chemistry from the University of Belgrade and her Ph.D. from The Rockefeller University in 1978 in the laboratory of R. Bruce Merrifield. Following her fellowship in the endocrine unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, she returned to Rockefeller in 1990, joining the Laboratory of Cellular Physiology and Immunology.