Andy Norris, MD, PhD

Contact Information

Office: 1270B CBRB 
Phone: 319-335-7383 
Faculty Profile

Brief description of current research:

The Norris research laboratory is committed to identifying key molecular and developmental determinants of diabetes. To this end, our work is currently focused on three questions. (1) How does fetal exposure to high glucose incite poor metabolism? To study this, we have developed an innovative model of intrauterine diabetes exposure accomplished via unilateral infusion of macronutrients into the uterine artery. (2) How does cystic fibrosis cause diabetes? We are working collaboratively with other University of Iowa investigators to better understand the pathophysiology of cystic fibrosis related diabetes. Our work suggests that cystic fibrosis induces a functional pancreatic islet defect independent of structural pancreatic damage and thus potentially amenable to tailored therapy.  (3) How do polyunsaturated fatty acids and thiazolidinediones directly act on tissues to improve insulin action?

3 most influential diabetes/obesity/metabolism publications:

  • Norris AW, Wang C, Yao J, Walsh SA, Sawatzke AB, Hu S, Sunderland JJ, Segar JL, & Ponto LLB.  2011.  Effect of Insulin and Dexamethasone on Fetal Assimilation of Maternal Glucose.  Endocrinology  152:255-62.
  • Hu S, Yao J, Howe AA, Menke BM, Sivitz WI, Spector AA, & Norris AW. 2012.  Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor gamma Decouples Fatty Acid Uptake from Lipid Inhibition of Insulin Signaling in Skeletal Muscle.  Molecular Endocrinology. 26:977-88. Note: this manuscript was selected for the June issue's cover art and for discussion in the editor's remarks.  The June issue is the one distributed at the Endocrine Society's annual Scientific meeting.
  • Olivier AK, Yi Y, Sun X, Sui H, Liang B, Hu S, Xie W, Fisher JT, Keiser NW, Lei D, Zhou W, Yan Z, Li G, Evans TIA,  Meyerholz DK, Wang K, Stewart ZA, *Norris AW, *Engelhardt JF. 2012. Altered Insulin Secretion And Impaired Endocrine Pancreas Function At Birth In Cystic Fibrosis Ferrets. J Clin Invest. 122:3755-68. [* co-corresponding authors]


As a physician-scientist who works with children who have diabetes, I am keenly aware of the need for diabetes research aimed at ultimately producing improved therapies.