Matthew Merrins

Credentials: PhD

Position title: Director, University of Wisconsin Optical Imaging Core (UWOIC); Associate Professor of Medicine


Advanced Microscopy Core Merrins Lab

My research is focused on understanding metabolic signaling in the pancreatic islet and its deficiency in type 2 diabetes. My laboratory specializes in single-cell approaches – principally live-cell imaging and electrophysiology – with a focus on the development of optical tools that provide new insight into diabetes pathophysiology. Our main interests lie in two features of nutrient metabolism in islet cells, (1) the ability to trigger pulses of insulin release, and (2) the ability to fine-tune hormone secretion through cell-cell communication. We utilize mouse models of obesity/diabetes in combination with biochemistry, patch clamp electrophysiology, and quantitative imaging. A central focus of the lab is the use of fluorescence microscopy (3D light-sheet imaging, optogenetics, and 2-photon microscopy) to monitor biochemical reactions as they occur in living cells.