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Laura Cristina Alonso MD

TitleAssociate Professor
InstitutionUniversity of Massachusetts Medical School
DepartmentMedicine
AddressUniversity of Massachusetts Medical School
368 Plantation Street, AS7-2047
Worcester MA 01605
Phone508-455-3640
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    Other Positions
    InstitutionUMMS - School of Medicine
    DepartmentMedicine
    DivisionDiabetes

    InstitutionUMMS - Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
    DepartmentInterdisciplinary Graduate Program


    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse education and training
    Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, United StatesBABiochemistry
    University of Pennsylvania Pereleman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, United StatesMD
    Collapse awards and honors
    1989 - 1993B.A. Biochemistry, Harvard College
    1993 - 1998M.D., University of Pennsylvania
    1998 - 2000Residency, Internal Medicine, University of Chicago Hospitals
    2000 - 2002Fellowship, Endocrinology, University of Chicago Hospitals
    2002 - 2005Research Fellowship, Stem Cell Biology, Rockefeller University
    2006 - 2008Instructor of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh
    2008 - 2012Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh
    2013 - 2016Editorial Board, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
    2015 - 2020The George F. and Sybil H. Fuller Term Chair in Diabetes , UMass Medical School

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse overview

    Academic background

    Laura Alonso is currently Associate Professor of Medicine and Director of Beta Cell Biological Studies at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, in the Department of Medicine, Division of Diabetes. She received her undergraduate degree from Harvard in Biochemistry, and her medical diploma from the University of Pennsylvania. She performed her clinical training in Internal Medicine at the University of Chicago, followed by a fellowship in Endocrinology and Metabolism, also at the University of Chicago. Her training in the basic sciences began during a summer internship with Dr. Eleanor Blakely at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, continued during her undergraduate and medical education with Dr. John Dowling and Dr. Laurence Turka, respectively, and intensified during a five-year postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Elaine Fuchs which began at the University of Chicago and was completed at the Rockefeller University. Training in Islet Biology commenced with her move to the University of Pittsburgh, where she trained with Dr. Andrew Stewart.

    Clinical work in Diabetes and Endocrinology

    Dr. Alonso sees patients in the Diabetes Clinic in the Ambulatory Care Center at the University of Massachusetts, University Campus, as well as rounding on the inpatient Diabetes and Endocrinology Consult service.

    Regulation of pancreatic beta cell mass

    Dr. Alonso's research lab is focused on finding ways to increase the number of insulin-secreting pancreatic beta cells, so as to prevent or treat diabetes. She uses mouse models to determine how nutrients influence beta cell proliferation, with the goal of identifying therapeutic pathways that can be exploited to expand human beta cell mass. 


    Collapse Rotation Projects

    Rotation projects are available in pancreatic islet biology, with a focus on how nutrients regulate growth and regeneration of insulin-producing beta cells and glucagon-producing alpha cells. Send me an email, I'm happy to discuss options.




    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse selected publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
    List All   |   Timeline
    1. Alonso LC. T2D Risk Genes: Exome Sequencing Goes Straight to the Source. Cell Metab. 2019 Jul 02; 30(1):10-11. PMID: 31269421.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Sharma RB, Darko C, Zheng X, Gablaski B, Alonso LC. DNA Damage Does Not Cause BrdU Labeling of Mouse or Human Beta Cells. Diabetes. 2019 Mar 04. PMID: 30833468.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Harmon DB, Wu C, Dedousis N, Sipula IJ, Stafanovic-Racic M, Schoiswohl G, O'Donnell CP, Alonso LC, Kershaw EE, Kelley EE, O'Doherty RM. Adipose Tissue Derived Free Fatty Acids Initiate Myeloid Cell Accumulation in Mouse Liver in States of Lipid Oversupply. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2018 Aug 07. PMID: 30086648.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Kong Y, Hsieh CH, Alonso LC. ANRIL: A lncRNA at the CDKN2A/B Locus With Roles in Cancer and Metabolic Disease. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2018; 9:405. PMID: 30087655.
      View in: PubMed
    5. Kong Y, Ebrahimpour P, Liu Y, Yang C, Alonso LC. Pancreatic Islet Embedding for Paraffin Sections. J Vis Exp. 2018 06 29; (136). PMID: 30010652.
      View in: PubMed
    6. Nwosu BU, Zhang B, Ayyoub SS, Choi S, Villalobos-Ortiz TR, Alonso LC, Barton BA. Children with type 1 diabetes who experienced a honeymoon phase had significantly lower LDL cholesterol 5 years after diagnosis. PLoS One. 2018; 13(5):e0196912. PMID: 29768449.
      View in: PubMed
    7. Ortí G, Sanz J, García-Cadenas I, Sánchez-Ortega I, Alonso L, Jiménez MJ, Sisinni L, Azqueta C, Salamero O, Badell I, Ferra C, de Heredia CD, Parody R, Sanz MA, Sierra J, Piñana JL, Querol S, Valcárcel D. Analysis of relapse after transplantation in acute leukemia: A comparative on second allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation and donor lymphocyte infusions. Exp Hematol. 2018 06; 62:24-32. PMID: 29526774.
      View in: PubMed
    8. Kong Y, Sharma RB, Ly S, Stamateris RE, Jesdale WM, Alonso LC. CDKN2A/B T2D GWAS Risk-SNPs Impact Locus Gene Expression and Proliferation in Human Islets. Diabetes. 2018 Feb 06. PMID: 29432124.
      View in: PubMed
    9. Lundberg RL, Marino KR, Jasrotia A, Maranda LS, Barton BA, Alonso LC, Nwosu BU. Partial clinical remission in type 1 diabetes: a comparison of the accuracy of total daily dose of insulin of <0.3 units/kg/day to the gold standard insulin-dose adjusted hemoglobin A1c of =9 for the detection of partial clinical remission. J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2017 Aug 28; 30(8):823-830. PMID: 28753540.
      View in: PubMed
    10. Marino KR, Lundberg RL, Jasrotia A, Maranda LS, Thompson MJ, Barton BA, Alonso LC, Nwosu BU. A predictive model for lack of partial clinical remission in new-onset pediatric type 1 diabetes. PLoS One. 2017; 12(5):e0176860. PMID: 28459844.
      View in: PubMed
    11. Roth Flach RJ, Danai LV, DiStefano MT, Kelly M, Menendez LG, Jurczyk A, Sharma RB, Jung DY, Kim JH, Kim JK, Bortell R, Alonso LC, Czech MP. Protein Kinase Mitogen-activated Protein Kinase Kinase Kinase Kinase 4 (MAP4K4) Promotes Obesity-induced Hyperinsulinemia. J Biol Chem. 2016 Jul 29; 291(31):16221-30. PMID: 27226575.
      View in: PubMed
    12. Kong Y, Sharma RB, Nwosu BU, Alonso LC. Islet biology, the CDKN2A/B locus and type 2 diabetes risk. Diabetologia. 2016 Aug; 59(8):1579-93. PMID: 27155872.
      View in: PubMed
    13. Choudhury SR, Fitzpatrick Z, Harris AF, Maitland SA, Ferreira JS, Zhang Y, Ma S, Sharma RB, Gray-Edwards HL, Johnson JA, Johnson AK, Alonso LC, Punzo C, Wagner KR, Maguire CA, Kotin RM, Martin DR, Sena-Esteves M. In Vivo Selection Yields AAV-B1 Capsid for Central Nervous System and Muscle Gene Therapy. Mol Ther. 2016 Aug; 24(7):1247-57. PMID: 27117222.
      View in: PubMed
    14. Lakshmipathi J, Alvarez-Perez JC, Rosselot C, Casinelli GP, Stamateris RE, Rausell-Palamos F, O'Donnell CP, Vasavada RC, Scott DK, Alonso LC, Garcia-Ocaña A. PKC? Is Essential for Pancreatic ß-Cell Replication During Insulin Resistance by Regulating mTOR and Cyclin-D2. Diabetes. 2016 May; 65(5):1283-96. PMID: 26868297.
      View in: PubMed
    15. Stamateris RE, Sharma RB, Kong Y, Ebrahimpour P, Panday D, Ranganath P, Zou B, Levitt H, Parambil NA, O'Donnell CP, García-Ocaña A, Alonso LC. Glucose Induces Mouse ß-Cell Proliferation via IRS2, MTOR, and Cyclin D2 but Not the Insulin Receptor. Diabetes. 2016 Apr; 65(4):981-95. PMID: 26740601.
      View in: PubMed
    16. Sharma RB, O'Donnell AC, Stamateris RE, Ha B, McCloskey KM, Reynolds PR, Arvan P, Alonso LC. Insulin demand regulates ß cell number via the unfolded protein response. J Clin Invest. 2015 Oct 1; 125(10):3831-46. PMID: 26389675.
      View in: PubMed
    17. Singamsetty S, Shah FA, Guo L, Watanabe Y, McDonald S, Sharma R, Zhang Y, Alonso LC, O'Donnell CP, McVerry BJ. Early initiation of low-level parenteral dextrose induces an accelerated diabetic phenotype in septic C57BL/6J mice. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2016 Jan; 41(1):12-9. PMID: 26624964.
      View in: PubMed
    18. Mordes JP, Alonso LC. Evaluation, Medical Therapy, and Course of Adult Persistent Hyperinsulinemic Hypoglycemia After Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery: A Case Series. Endocr Pract. 2015 Mar; 21(3):237-46. PMID: 25100376.
      View in: PubMed
    19. Behari J, Li H, Liu S, Stefanovic-Racic M, Alonso L, O'Donnell CP, Shiva S, Singamsetty S, Watanabe Y, Singh VP, Liu Q. ß-catenin links hepatic metabolic zonation with lipid metabolism and diet-induced obesity in mice. Am J Pathol. 2014 Dec; 184(12):3284-98. PMID: 25300578.
      View in: PubMed
    20. Sharma RB, Alonso LC. Lipotoxicity in the pancreatic beta cell: not just survival and function, but proliferation as well? Curr Diab Rep. 2014 Jun; 14(6):492. PMID: 24740729.
      View in: PubMed
    21. Jurczyk A, Bortell R, Alonso LC. Human ß-cell regeneration: progress, hurdles, and controversy. Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 2014 Apr; 21(2):102-8. PMID: 24569551.
      View in: PubMed
    22. Song WJ, Mondal P, Wolfe A, Alonso LC, Stamateris R, Ong BW, Lim OC, Yang KS, Radovick S, Novaira HJ, Farber EA, Farber CR, Turner SD, Hussain MA. Glucagon regulates hepatic kisspeptin to impair insulin secretion. Cell Metab. 2014 Apr 1; 19(4):667-81. PMID: 24703698.
      View in: PubMed
    23. Kilic G, Alvarez-Mercado AI, Zarrouki B, Opland D, Liew CW, Alonso LC, Myers MG, Jonas JC, Poitout V, Kulkarni RN, Mauvais-Jarvis F. The islet estrogen receptor-a is induced by hyperglycemia and protects against oxidative stress-induced insulin-deficient diabetes. PLoS One. 2014; 9(2):e87941. PMID: 24498408.
      View in: PubMed
    24. Watanabe Y, Singamsetty S, Zou B, Guo L, Stefanovski D, Alonso LC, Garcia-Ocana A, O'Donnell CP, McVerry BJ. Exogenous glucose administration impairs glucose tolerance and pancreatic insulin secretion during acute sepsis in non-diabetic mice. PLoS One. 2013; 8(6):e67716. PMID: 23826335.
      View in: PubMed
    25. Stamateris RE, Sharma RB, Hollern DA, Alonso LC. Adaptive ß-cell proliferation increases early in high-fat feeding in mice, concurrent with metabolic changes, with induction of islet cyclin D2 expression. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Jul 1; 305(1):E149-59. PMID: 23673159.
      View in: PubMed
    26. Lee EJ, Alonso LC, Stefanovski D, Strollo HC, Romano LC, Zou B, Singamsetty S, Yester KA, McGaffin KR, Garcia-Ocana A, O'Donnell CP. Time-dependent changes in glucose and insulin regulation during intermittent hypoxia and continuous hypoxia. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2013 Feb; 113(2):467-78. PMID: 22801715.
      View in: PubMed
    27. Metukuri MR, Zhang P, Basantani MK, Chin C, Stamateris RE, Alonso LC, Takane KK, Gramignoli R, Strom SC, O'Doherty RM, Stewart AF, Vasavada RC, Garcia-Ocaña A, Scott DK. ChREBP mediates glucose-stimulated pancreatic ß-cell proliferation. Diabetes. 2012 Aug; 61(8):2004-15. PMID: 22586588.
      View in: PubMed
    28. Demirci C, Ernst S, Alvarez-Perez JC, Rosa T, Valle S, Shridhar V, Casinelli GP, Alonso LC, Vasavada RC, García-Ocana A. Loss of HGF/c-Met signaling in pancreatic ß-cells leads to incomplete maternal ß-cell adaptation and gestational diabetes mellitus. Diabetes. 2012 May; 61(5):1143-52. PMID: 22427375.
      View in: PubMed
    29. Alonso LC, Watanabe Y, Stefanovski D, Lee EJ, Singamsetty S, Romano LC, Zou B, Garcia-Ocaña A, Bergman RN, O'Donnell CP. Simultaneous measurement of insulin sensitivity, insulin secretion, and the disposition index in conscious unhandled mice. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2012 Jul; 20(7):1403-12. PMID: 22331130.
      View in: PubMed
    30. Pascoe J, Hollern D, Stamateris R, Abbasi M, Romano LC, Zou B, O'Donnell CP, Garcia-Ocana A, Alonso LC. Free fatty acids block glucose-induced ß-cell proliferation in mice by inducing cell cycle inhibitors p16 and p18. Diabetes. 2012 Mar; 61(3):632-41. PMID: 22338094.
      View in: PubMed
    31. Velazquez-Garcia S, Valle S, Rosa TC, Takane KK, Demirci C, Alvarez-Perez JC, Mellado-Gil JM, Ernst S, Scott DK, Vasavada RC, Alonso LC, Garcia-Ocaña A. Activation of protein kinase C-? in pancreatic ß-cells in vivo improves glucose tolerance and induces ß-cell expansion via mTOR activation. Diabetes. 2011 Oct; 60(10):2546-59. PMID: 21911744.
      View in: PubMed
    32. Molina B, Alonso L, Gonzalez-Vicent M, Andion M, Hernandez C, Lassaletta A, Cormenzana M, Lopez-Ibor B, Villa M, Molina J, Diaz MA. High-dose busulfan and melphalan as conditioning regimen for autologous peripheral blood progenitor cell transplantation in high-risk neuroblastoma patients. Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2011 Mar; 28(2):115-23. PMID: 21299340.
      View in: PubMed
    33. Mellado-Gil J, Rosa TC, Demirci C, Gonzalez-Pertusa JA, Velazquez-Garcia S, Ernst S, Valle S, Vasavada RC, Stewart AF, Alonso LC, Garcia-Ocaña A. Disruption of hepatocyte growth factor/c-Met signaling enhances pancreatic beta-cell death and accelerates the onset of diabetes. Diabetes. 2011 Feb; 60(2):525-36. PMID: 20980460.
      View in: PubMed
    34. Levitt HE, Cyphert TJ, Pascoe JL, Hollern DA, Abraham N, Lundell RJ, Rosa T, Romano LC, Zou B, O'Donnell CP, Stewart AF, Garcia-Ocaña A, Alonso LC. Glucose stimulates human beta cell replication in vivo in islets transplanted into NOD-severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mice. Diabetologia. 2011 Mar; 54(3):572-82. PMID: 20936253.
      View in: PubMed
    35. Woodske ME, Yokoe T, Zou B, Romano LC, Rosa TC, Garcia-Ocana A, Alonso LC, O'Donnell CP, McVerry BJ. Hyperinsulinemia predicts survival in a hyperglycemic mouse model of critical illness. Crit Care Med. 2009 Sep; 37(9):2596-603. PMID: 19623043.
      View in: PubMed
    36. Yokoe T, Alonso LC, Romano LC, Rosa TC, O'Doherty RM, Garcia-Ocana A, Minoguchi K, O'Donnell CP. Intermittent hypoxia reverses the diurnal glucose rhythm and causes pancreatic beta-cell replication in mice. J Physiol. 2008 Feb 1; 586(3):899-911. PMID: 18033815.
      View in: PubMed
    37. Alonso LC, Yokoe T, Zhang P, Scott DK, Kim SK, O'Donnell CP, Garcia-Ocaña A. Glucose infusion in mice: a new model to induce beta-cell replication. Diabetes. 2007 Jul; 56(7):1792-801. PMID: 17400928.
      View in: PubMed
    38. Iiyori N, Alonso LC, Li J, Sanders MH, Garcia-Ocana A, O'Doherty RM, Polotsky VY, O'Donnell CP. Intermittent hypoxia causes insulin resistance in lean mice independent of autonomic activity. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2007 Apr 15; 175(8):851-7. PMID: 17272786.
      View in: PubMed
    39. Alonso L, Fuchs E. The hair cycle. J Cell Sci. 2006 Feb 1; 119(Pt 3):391-3. PMID: 16443746.
      View in: PubMed
    40. Alonso L, Okada H, Pasolli HA, Wakeham A, You-Ten AI, Mak TW, Fuchs E. Sgk3 links growth factor signaling to maintenance of progenitor cells in the hair follicle. J Cell Biol. 2005 Aug 15; 170(4):559-70. PMID: 16103225.
      View in: PubMed
    41. Kobielak K, Pasolli HA, Alonso L, Polak L, Fuchs E. Defining BMP functions in the hair follicle by conditional ablation of BMP receptor IA. J Cell Biol. 2003 Nov 10; 163(3):609-23. PMID: 14610062.
      View in: PubMed
    42. Alonso L, Fuchs E. Stem cells of the skin epithelium. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Sep 30; 100 Suppl 1:11830-5. PMID: 12913119.
      View in: PubMed
    43. Alonso L, Fuchs E. Stem cells in the skin: waste not, Wnt not. Genes Dev. 2003 May 15; 17(10):1189-200. PMID: 12756224.
      View in: PubMed
    44. Alonso LC, Rosenfield RL. Molecular genetic and endocrine mechanisms of hair growth. Horm Res. 2003; 60(1):1-13. PMID: 12792148.
      View in: PubMed
    45. Alonso LC, Rosenfield RL. Oestrogens and puberty. Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2002 Mar; 16(1):13-30. PMID: 11987895.
      View in: PubMed
    46. Pohlenz J, Manders L, Sadow PM, Kansal PC, Refetoff S, Weiss RE. A novel point mutation in cluster 3 of the thyroid hormone receptor beta gene (P247L) causing mild resistance to thyroid hormone. Thyroid. 1999 Dec; 9(12):1195-203. PMID: 10646658.
      View in: PubMed
    47. Rosengard AM, Alonso LC, Korb LC, Baldwin WM, Sanfilippo F, Turka LA, Ahearn JM. Functional characterization of soluble and membrane-bound forms of vaccinia virus complement control protein (VCP). Mol Immunol. 1999 Jul; 36(10):685-97. PMID: 10509819.
      View in: PubMed
    48. Judge TA, Desai NM, Yang Z, Rostami S, Alonso L, Zhang H, Chen Y, Markman JF, DeMateo RP, Barker CF, Naji A, Turka LA. Utility of adenoviral-mediated Fas ligand gene transfer to modulate islet allograft survival. Transplantation. 1998 Aug 27; 66(4):426-34. PMID: 9734483.
      View in: PubMed
    49. Budenz DL, Bennett J, Alonso L, Maguire A. In vivo gene transfer into murine corneal endothelial and trabecular meshwork cells. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1995 Oct; 36(11):2211-5. PMID: 7558714.
      View in: PubMed
    50. Blakely EA, Daftari IK, Meecham WJ, Alonso LC, Collier JM, Kroll SM, Gillette EL, Lee AC, Lett JT, Cox AB, Castro JR, Char DH. Helium-ion-induced human cataractogenesis. Adv Space Res. 1994 Oct; 14(10):501-5. PMID: 11539986.
      View in: PubMed
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