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Marko Z. Vatamaniuk

Marko Vatamaniuk

Senior Research Associate

248 Morrison Hall
(607) 257-1947

I received my Ph.D. degree from Lviv National University, Lviv, Ukraine in 1996 (Animal Physiology). Since 2005 am working as a Research Associate, Sr. at Cornell University, Department of Animal Science, Ithaca, NY.

Research Focus

The essential role of microelements for the normal functional activity of biological organisms is well established, while healthy food and probiotics are key elements in this matter. The imbalance of metal ions in cells due to micronutrient deficiencies, environmental pollution, or genetic perturbations strongly correlates with the development of multiple diseases such as Wilson and Menkes diseases, anemia, neurodegenerative conditions as well as some potentially unknown diseases. The disturbed trace element
homeostasis has also been linked to the metabolic syndrome diseases, e.g. type 2 diabetes, T2DM.
According to CDC, more than 100 millions of Americans are suffering from prediabetes and diabetes. Mouse models lacking antioxidant enzymes Cu, Zn superoxide dismutase 1, Sod1, and Se-dependent glutathione peroxidase 1, Gpx1 have altered glucose homeostasis thus linking trace metals and
antioxidant function with pancreatic malfunctioning and the development of T2DM-like phenotype in Gpx1 overexpressing model. We are using synchrotron X-ray fluorescence, SXRF, as an imaging tool to study a role of trace elements in glucose metabolism malfunctioning of Gpx1 and Sod1 knockouts and Gpx1 overexpressing models, and will use deep transcriptome sequencing, RNA-Seq, to compare islets and liver tissues transcriptomes of Gpx1KO, Gpx1OE, and Sod1KO models vs. wild-type animals under different diet conditions and identify novel factors contributing to metal transport and its regulation. Our preliminary data showed a potential to distinguish the distribution of 9 biologically relevant trace elements in pancreatic samples of genetically modified mice, different distribution of trace metals and expression of
metal transporters in these genotypes. The broad goal is to obtain an integrated understanding of
regulatory networks governing metal homeostasis in pancreatic and liver tissues as pertains to glucose
metabolism. This studies will shed a light on links among antioxidant defense, glucose metabolism and
trace elements in the onset of obesity and T2DM.

Teaching Focus

Animals in Biomedical Research (AS 3980)

From Food to Medicine (AS 1160)

Presentations and Activities

  • Synchrotron X-ray fluorescence microscopy (SXRF) as a tool for imaging the spatial distribution of metals in pancreas and liver samples for studies of glucose metabolism disorders. Gordon Conference "Cell Biology of Metals". July 2017. Cornell University, self-sponsored. Mount Snow in West Dover VT United States .