Ann Louise Olson, PhD

Professor and Vice Chair


Contact Information:

Phone (405) 271-2227 ext 61252


PhD 1986 University of Iowa

Research Interests:

The central focus of my research is on insulin action and GLUT4 function in adipose tissue and muscle.  GLUT4 is an important effector molecule for mediating the primary actions on insulin in these tissues.  Dysregulation of GLUT4 expression and its membrane trafficking plays a central role in mediating the abnormalities in intermediary metabolism and glucose homeostasis that are  associated with obesity and  lead to type 2 diabetes.  While our main focus is understand the molecular mechanisms that underlie GLUT4 transcriptional control, our work has led to new projects studying gene regulation in adipose tissue that has recovered from obesity, and metabolic regulators of adipocyte differentiation. 


Using transgenic mice to understand the complex regulation of the GLUT4 gene expression and GLUT4-dependent glucose transport has been important research tool.  Cell culture models are inadequate for understanding the complex physiologic milieu that exists in whole animals.  GLUT4 is a highly differentiated gene, and as we have shown, its regulation is highly dependent on nutritional state of the animal.  Our long-term goal is to understand how GLUT4 expression can be targeted as a therapeutic intervention for prevention and treatment of insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes.  Therapies with this target in mind are lacking because of the significant gaps in our knowledge regarding the regulation of GLUT4 expression.

Selected Publications:

Jackson, R. M., Griesel, B. A., Gurley, J. M., Szweda, L. I., Olson, A. L. (2017) Glucose availability controls adipogenesis in mouse 3T3-L1 adipocytes via upregulation of nicotinamide metabolism. J. Biol. Chem., 292, 18556-18564.


Gurley, J. M., Ilkayeva, O., Jackson, R. M., Griesel, B. A., White, P., Matsuzaki, S., Qaisar, R., Van Remmen, H., Humphries, K. M., Newgard, C. B., Olson, A. L. (2016). Enhanced GLUT4-Dependent Glucose Transport Relieves Nutrient Stress in Obese Mice Through Changes in Lipid and Amino Acid Metabolism. Diabetes, 65, 3585-3597.


Gurley, J. M., Griesel, B. A., Olson, A. L. (2016). Increased Skeletal Muscle Glut4 Expression in Obese Mice after Voluntary Wheel Running Exercise is Post-Transcriptional. Diabetes, 65, 2911-19.

Link to full publication list >