Lai Kuan Dionne, PhD

Assistant Professor of Cell Biology & Physiology

Research Interests

Inter-organellar interactions between midbody, centrosome, and primary cilium in health and disease. 

Professional Education
  • BS: Universiti Sains Malaysia, 2004, Biomedicine
  • PhD: University of Colorado-Anschutz Medical Campus, 2010, Cell Biology
  • Postdoc: University of Colorado-Anschutz Medical Campus, 2013-2015, Cancer Biology
  • Postdoc: Washington University in St. Louis, 2015-2018, Nephrology
Laboratory Affiliation

Piston Lab

South Building

Fluorescence | Imaging | Quantitative Biology | Mathematical Models

Our lab focuses on understanding glucose-regulated hormone secretion from the islet of Langerhans, which is made up of glucagon secreting α-cells, insulin-secreting β-cells, and somatostatin-secreting δ-cells.  Recent work has uncovered glucagon’s critical role in glucose homeostasis and the pathology of diabetes.  Multiple signaling pathways arising from intrinsic glucose sensing, paracrine interactions and juxtacrine contacts within the islet all play a role in α-cell function.  Our lab develops quantitative fluorescence technology broadly applicable to cell, tissue, and whole-organism imaging experiments.  We apply these methods to assay living islet function quantitatively both ex vivo and in vivo, and these studies are proving critical to advancing our understanding of the regulation of glucagon secretion from α-cells.