Jane EB Reusch, MD, is a Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry at the University of Colorado Denver and Denver VAMC and Associate Director of the Center for Women’s Health Research. She is an elected member of American Society for Clinical Investigation, the American Association of Physicians. Dr. Reusch graduated from the University of Notre Dame and attended medical school at Northwestern University and the University of Minnesota. Dr Reusch did her internal medicine, endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism training at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. In Colorado, Dr Reusch directs the VA diabetes team, is on the executive committees for the Center for Women’s Health Research and Colorado Clinical Translational Science Institute. Dr. Reusch is Past-President of the American Federation for Medical Research Foundation, and she is a member of the American Diabetes Association, The Endocrine Society, the American Heart Association, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and the American Federation for Medical Research. Dr Reusch is currently on the American Diabetes Association Board of Directors and the ADA Finance and Science Policy Committees and she serves on the planning committee for ENDO, the national meeting of the Endocrine Society. Nationally she represents the interests of clinical research and the need to have a workforce of clinical investigators to translate scientific advances to patients in the community, especially in the area of diabetes.
Dr Reusch joined the University of Colorado faculty in 1994 to pursue basic research on insulin action and clinical programs in diabetes, and was instrumental in the development of the Comprehensive Diabetes Programs at the University Hospital and Denver Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center. The long-term goal of her combined translational research programs is to decrease cardiovascular disease and prevent early mortality in diabetes by understanding early events leading to poor outcomes.
The scientific focus of her research explores how the abnormal metabolic state of type 2 diabetes could alter the cell or target organ adaptation leading to misinterpretation of hormone signals. Specifically, the efforts focus on the homeostatic importance of the transcription factor CREB, a cyclic AMP (cAMP) binding protein and mitochondrial turnover in cardiovascular disease. Ongoing work is exploring the role of nitric oxide synthase enzymes as a therapeutic target to improve cellular homeostasis and augment exercise capacity in cells, animal models and human subjects.
In her clinical research program with Dr Regensteiner, they have defined that there is a diabetes specific defect in functional exercise capacity that is associated with insulin resistance, endothelial dysfunction and new data demonstrating a correlation with decreases skeletal muscle mitochondrial function. This defect is clinically important because decreases physical fitness predict premature death. Exercise function for people with diabetes can be restored, in part, by treatment of subjects with exercise training or thiazolidinediones. New data suggests the response of critical molecular targets (eNOS, SIRT and PGC-1a) affected by exercise in the vasculature, fail to be induced by exercise in diabetes.
Ongoing work suggests that we can prime or mimic the exercise response by combining exercise training and pharmacological intervention.