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Umut  Ozcan, MD

Umut Ozcan, MD
Medicine Research
Endocrinology Research
Hospital Title:
Medical Staff
Academic Title:
Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
Research Focus Area:
The molecular biology of ER stress and its relation to insulin and leptin resistance.

Research Overview

The primary aim of Ozcan laboratory is to delineate the molecular mechanisms of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress originated pathologies in obesity. The two main focus areas are insulin and leptin receptor signaling and their crosstalk with the unfolded protein response pathway. Dr. Ozcan's group employ a multi-disciplinary approach that draws on mouse genetics, endoplasmic reticulum physiology & pathophysiology, biochemistry, chemical biology and proteomics to identify key metabolic pathways that determine the cell’s response to physiologic and pathophysiologic ER stress. The ultimate goal of this integrated approach is to unravel the potential therapeutic targets in unfolded signaling pathway in order to reduce ER stress in obesity and find a cure for treatment of obesity and obesity-related diseases. The Ozcan group has made seminal discoveries in these areas and currently also working on potent drugs that could be future treatments for obesity and type 2 diabetes.

The Ozcan Laboratory Webpage:

About Umut Ozcan, MD

Umut Ozcan received his MD degree from the University of Istanbul. He completed his research training at the Joslin Diabetes Center and Harvard School of Public Health.


  • Lee J, Sun C, Zhou Y, Lee J, Gokalp D, Herrema H, Park SW, Davis RJ, Ozcan U. p38 MAPK-mediated regulation of Xbp1s is crucial for glucose homeostasis. Nature Medicine. 2011; 17(10):1251-60.
  • Zhou Y, Lee J, Reno CM, Sun C, Park SW, Chung J, Lee J, Fisher SJ, White MF, Biddinger SB, Ozcan U. Regulation of glucose homeostasis through a XBP-1-FoxO1 interaction. Nature Medicine. 2011 Mar; 17(3):356-65.
  • Park SW, Zhou Y, Lee J, Lee J, Ozcan U. Sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase 2b is a major regulator of endoplasmic reticulum stress and glucose homeostasis in obesity. PNAS. 2010 Nov 9; 107(45):19320-5.
  • Park SW, Zhou Y, Lee J, Lu A, Sun C, Chung J, Ueki K, Ozcan U. The regulatory subunits of PI3K, p85alpha and p85beta, interact with XBP-1 and increase its nuclear translocation. Nature Medicine. 2010 Apr; 16(4):429-37.
  • Ozcan L, Ergin AS, Lu A, Chung J, Sarkar S, Nie D, Myers MG, Ozcan U. Endoplasmic reticulum stress plays a central role in development of leptin resistance. Cell Metabolism. 2009 Jan 7; 9(1):35-51.
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