Principal Investigator

Paul W. Hruz, MD, PhD

Paul W. Hruz, MD, PhD

Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Endocrinology and Diabetes

Paul Hruz is board certified in Pediatrics and Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes. Hruz has clinical interest in a wide range of endocrine disorders, with a special interest in diabetes mellitus. His research efforts are directed toward understanding facilitative glucose transport as it relates to normal and disordered glucose homeostasis. The laboratory is investigating the in vitro and in vivo effects of HIV protease inhibitors on glucose transporter function. The goal of this research is to identify the molecular mechanisms that lead HIV infected patients receiving PIs to develop insulin resistance. The laboratory is also using these isoform-selective antagonists of the insulin-responsive transporter GLUT4 to understand the role of glucose transport in insulin-responsive tissues. Recent efforts have been directed toward understanding the role of glucose transport in the failing heart. This has led to translational research into the understanding of the influence of insulin resistance in pediatric heart failure.


Monique Heitmeier

Research Lab Manager

Monique Heitmeier is utilizing HIV protease inhibitors that inhibit GLUT1 and/or GLU4 as pharmacological tools to determine how altered glucose homeostasis affects disease pathogenesis in mouse models of heart failure and cancer. Current efforts are focused on determining whether altered glucose metabolism affects the unfolded protein/ER stress response in these models, and how modulation of these pathways impacts the observed phenotype.

Rich Hresko

Senior Scientist

Rich is investigating structure/function relationships in GLUT1 and GLUT4. He is utilizing state-of-the-art methodologies to perform solution-state structural analysis. A major focus of his current work is to identify and characterize GLUT4 interacting proteins that may regulate the activity and/or cellular trafficking of glucose transporters.

Maria Payne

Research Specialist

Maria Payne has extensive experience in metabolic measurements in rodents. She is assisting in a number of studies aimed at determining the effects of altered glucose homeostasis on cardiac function. Her current efforts include the study of beneficial effects of incretin hormones in the failing heart.

Thomas Kraft

Graduate Student

Thomas Kraft is working on solution-state structural analysis of facilitative glucose transport proteins. He is developing novel methodologies for the stable expression and purification of GLUTs. His research is currently funded by a grant from the Children’s Discovery Institute

Past Personnel

Christal Baird

Research Technician

Paul Buske

Randy Colvin

Jeremy Etzkorn

Medical Student

Jan Freiss

Constanze Haufe

Visiting Scientist, Germany

Helena Jonnson

MSTP Student

David Kraus

Research Technician

John Paul Shen

Medical Student

Laura Silbermann

Visiting Researcher, Germany