Judy CrabtreeJudy Crabtree, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Genetics Director, LSUHSC School of Medicine Genomics Core Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, School of Medicine

Pancreatic islet adaptation and regulation of beta cell proliferation

LSU New Orleans School of Medicine


Dr. Crabtree received her PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Oklahoma where she was instrumental in sequencing portions of human chromosomes 9, 11 and 22 as part of the Human Genome Project. Her graduate work led to the identification of the gene for Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia, type 1 and she studied the mechanisms of endocrine tumor biology as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health under the direction of Dr. Francis Collins. Dr. Crabtree developed the first mouse models of MEN1, characterizing the endocrine pancreatic and parathyroid phenotypes associated with this disease model system. The study of endocrine tumor biology led to a position with Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Research and Development where she established a successful platform for drug development in uterine fibroids and developed mouse model systems to analyze tissue specific estrogenic compounds (TSECs) and androgenetic alopecia. She joined the LSUHSC Department of Genetics in 2009 to study pancreatic biology focusing on the mechanisms of pancreatic islet adaptation in diabetes, obesity and pregnancy as well as mechanisms of neuroendocrine tumorigenesis. Dr. Crabtree has published over 35 publications and was the recipient of the John Haddad Young Investigator Award from AIMM-ASBMR for her work on MEN1.

Ongoing research projects related to diabetes and obesity

Our Laboratory focuses on identifying the cellular and molecular mechanisms that impact beta cell adaptation and proliferation in diabetes, obesity and pregnancy using rodent models. We use genetic, molecular, pharmacological and physiological tools to study mice with genetically-induced obesity, diet-induced obesity, and during pregnancy to understand the natural mechanisms of pancreatic islet adaptation with respect to miRNA regulation. We also study mice with conditional knockout of the MEN1 gene as a model of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, as well as rodent and human cell culture models in a carefully controlled environment. Students are trained to gain a full understanding of the biological and genetic processes underlying pancreatic biology, adaptation and tumorigenesis.

Ongoing projects include:

  1. Global analysis of miRNA and mRNA dysregulation in pregnancy, diet-induced and genetically-induced obesity in the mouse
  2. Novel epigenetic studies of the protein RBP2 and its role in neuroendocrine tumorigenesis (pancreatic and carcinoid)

Lab members:

Elaine Maggi, graduate student
Jyothi Vijayaraghavan, MS, graduate student

Other Links:

LSUHSC Genomics Core: A href="" target="_Blank">

Pubmed link to publications:


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