Wayne State University

Aim Higher

Faculty Biography

Anjaneyulu Kowluru PhD

(313) 577-5490
(313) 576-4478
EACPHS Room 3617


My research is focused on understanding the signaling mechanisms underlyingglucose-inducedinsulin secretion from normal beta-cells. We arealso interested in theidentification of mechanisms responsible for the metabolic dysfunction and demise of the islet leading to the onset oftype 1 and type 2 diabetes.


Associate Dean for External Scientific Affairs

Degrees and Certifications

1972:   B.Sc [Botany, Zoology and Chemistry] Andhra University, India
1974:   M.Sc [Biochemistry] Allahabad University, India
1978:   Ph.D. [Biochemistry] Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, India
1979-81:   Post-Doctoral Fellow, Brussels Free University, Brussels
1981-84:   JDRF Fellow, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Positions and Employment

2011-present:           Associate Dean for External Scientific Affairs, Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences  


2007-present:           Professor of Internal Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Wayne State School of Medicine.


2006-present:           Elected Member, Wayne State University Academy of Scholars.

2006:                          Senior Research Career Scientist [GS 15/7], and Chief, b-Cell Biochemistry Research Laboratory.


2004-present:           Program Director- β-Cell Research, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

2004-present:           Charles H. Gershenson Distinguished Faculty Fellow.

2004-present:           Associate Faculty, Department of Nutrition and Food Science.

2002-present:           Professor [tenured], Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

2002-present:           Associate Faculty, Pancreas Transplant Program and Professor, Department of Surgery, Wayne State University School of


1999-present:           Associate Faculty, Institute of Gerontology, Wayne State University.

1998-present:           Adjunct Professor, Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics.

2000-2006                 Research Career Scientist, and Chief, Beta-Cell Biochemistry Research Laboratory.

2000-2004                 Program Coordinator, VA-Research Enhancement Award Program [REAP] for Diabetes Research.

1998-2002:                Associate Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

1998-2000:                Health Science Specialist, and Chief, b-Cell Biochemistry Research Laboratory.

1998-2002:                Member-Morris J. Hood Comprehensive Diabetes Center.

Other Experience Professional Memberships

1992-present:    American Diabetes Association
1996-present:    Endocrine Society
1996-present:   American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
1996-present:    European Association for the Study of Diabetes
2010-present:    American Physiological Society
2010-present:    Islet Society

2000-04:   Endocrinology
2000-12:   American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism
2008-11:    Associate Editor, Experimental Diabetes Research
2005-present:   Recent Patents on Endocrine, Metabolic & Immune Drug Discovery
2007-present:   Biochemical Pharmacology
2008-present:   Islets

1999-02:   American Diabetes Association; National Affiliate
2000-03:   Endocrinology Subcommittee - Department of VA
2008-10:   Department of VA Non-Clinician Eligibility Review Panel
1999-01:   Special Emphasis Review Panel-Nutrition and Metabolic Sciences NIDDK
2004:   Innovative Partnerships in type 1 Diabetes NIDDK
2007-08:   Cellular Aspects of Diabetes and Obesity; NIDDK [ad hoc]
2008-11:   Medical Research Review Committee, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
2011:   Research Grant Council of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
2008-12:   Regular member Cellular Aspects of Diabetes and Obesity Study Section NIDDK
2003-present:   Diabetes UK Program
2004-present:   Burroughs Wellcome Trust
2004-present:   Department of VA Merit Review and Career Development Grants
2007-present:   National Science Foundation
2010-present:   Walloon Excellence in Science and Biotechnology, Brussels, Belgium
2011-present:   Member, College of Reviewers for the Canada Research Chairs Program
2012-present:   Chair, Research and Development Committee, VA Medical Center, Detroit
2012-present    Regular Member, Endocrinology A study section, Department of VA National Affiliate

Awards and Honors

1974-79:   Junior and Senior Research Fellowships, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India
1979-81:   Fellow of the Belgian Institute for Research in Scientific Industry and Agriculture
1998-99:   PhD Study Commission-Wayne State University-Detroit
2001-05:   Coordinator, Diabetes Research Training Program, VA Medical Center, Detroit
2001:   Visiting Professor [Burroughs Wellcome Trust], University of Keele, Staffordshire, UK
2003:   Visiting Professor, National University of Singapore, Singapore
2004:   Board of Governors Charles H. Gershenson Distinguished Faculty Fellow
2006:   Elected member-WSU Academy of Scholars
2007:   Visiting Professor, University of Dundee, Scotland
2010:   Bayard D. Catherwood Memorial Lecture, Emory University School of Medicine
2011:   Invited speaker, 3rd International Brussels Pancreatic Islet Symposium, Brussels
2011:   Invited speaker and Chair, Islet Biology Scientific Session, Islet Society meetings. Stockholm
2011:   Invited speaker, Islet Study Group meetings, Natal, Brazil
2012:   Invited Speaker, Islet Society Meetings, Stockholm
2012:   Nominated for the William S. Middleton Award-Department of VA [2012]

Recent Publications

(Selected from 125 peer-reviewed publications and 250 presentations at local, regional, national and international meetings)

Kowluru A, Seavey SE, Li G, Sorenson RL, Weinhaus AJ, Nesher R, Rabaglia ME, Vadakekalam J, Metz SA. Glucose- and GTP-dependent stimulation of the carboxyl methylation of CDC42 in rodent and human pancreatic islets and pure β cells. Evidence for an essential role of GTP-binding proteins in nutrient-induced insulin secretion. J Clin Invest. 98:540-555,1996 [PMID: 8755667].

Kowluru A, Li G, Rabaglia ME, Segu VB, Hofmann F, Aktories K, Metz SA. Evidence for differential roles of the Rho subfamily of GTP-binding proteins in glucose- and calcium-induced insulin secretion from pancreatic β cells. Biochem Pharmacol. 54:1097-1108, 1997. [PMID: 9464452]

Li J, Luo R, Kowluru A, Li G. Novel regulation by Rac1 of glucose and forskolin induced insulin secretion in (INS-1) β-cells. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 286: E818-E827, 2004 [PMID: 14736704].

Kowluru A, Veluthakal R. Rho-GDP-dissociation inhibitor [GDI] plays a negative modulatory role in glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. Diabetes 54:3523-9, 2005 [PMID: 16306371].

Veluthakal R, Kaur H, Goalstone M, Kowluru A. Dominant negative α-subunit of farnesyl- and geranyl-transferase inhibits glucose-stimulated insulin secretion from insulin-secreting INS-cells. Diabetes 56: 204-210,2007 [PMID: 17192483].

Kowluru A. Protein prenylation in glucose-induced insulin secretion from the pancreatic islet beta cell: A perspective. J Cell Mol Med 12:164-173, 2008 [PMID: 18053094].

Veluthakal R, Suresh MV, McDonald P, Olson LK and Kowluru A. Regulatory roles for Tiam1, a guanine nucleotide exchange factor for Rac1, in glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in pancreatic b-cells. Biochem Pharmacol 77:101-13, 2009 [PMID: 18930714].

Kowluru A. Small G-proteins in islet β-cell function. Endocrine Reviews 31: 52-76, 2010 [PMID: 19890090].

Kowluru A, Veluthakal R, Rhodes CJ, Kamath V, Syed I, Koch B. Protein farnesylation dependent Raf/ERK signaling links to cytoskeletal remodeling to facilitate glucose-induced insulin secretion in pancreatic β-cells.Diabetes 59:967-77, 2010 [PMID: 20071600].

Syed I, Jayaram B and Kowluru A. Tiam1/Rac1 signaling pathway mediates palmitate-induced, ceramide-dependent generation of oxidative stress in pancreatic β-cells. Biochem Pharmacol 80:874-83, 2010 [PMID: 20493824]

Goalstone M, Kamath V and Kowluru A. Glucose activates prenyltransferases in pancreatic islet β-cells. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 391:895-898, 2010. [PMID: 19951701]

Subasinghe C, Syed I and Kowluru A. Phagocyte-like NADPH oxidase promotes cytokine-induced mitochondrial dysfunction in pancreatic β-cells: Evidence for regulation by Rac1. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 300:R12-20, 2011[PMID: 20943855].

Kowluru A. Friendly, and not so friendly, roles of Rac1 in islet β-cell function: Lessons learnt from pharmacological and molecular biological approaches. Biochemical Pharmacology 81:965-75, 2011 [PMID: 21300027]

Kyathanahalli CN, Kowluru A. A farnesylated pertussis toxin-sensitive G-protein suppresses Akt phosphorylation in INS 832/13 cells and normal rat islets. Biochem Pharmacol. 81:1237-47, 2011 [PMID: 21406184]

Syed I, Kyathanahalli CN, Kowluru A. Phagocyte-like NADPH oxidase generates ROS in INS 832/13 cells and rat islets: Role of protein prenylation. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 300: R756-R762, 2011 [PMID: 21228337].

Syed I, Kyathanahalli CN, Jayaram B, Govind S, Rhodes CJ, Kowluru RA, Kowluru A. Increased phagocyte-like NADPH oxidase and ROS generation in type-2 diabetic ZDF rat and human islets: Role of Rac1-JNK1/2 signaling pathway in mitochondrial dysregulation in the diabetic islets. Diabetes 60:2843-52, 2011 [PMID: 21911753].

Primary Research Title

Islet Biology - Insulin Secretion

Primary Research Interest


Anjan Kowluru [PI]
Protein Prenyl transferases in Glucose-Stimulated Insulin Secretion
The objective of this proposal is to determine the regulatory roles for post-translational farnesylation and geranylgeranylation of GTP-binding proteins in physiological insulin secretion.

Merit Review Grant- Department of VA
Anjan Kowluru [PI]
Mechanisms of Islet Beta Cell Dysfunction in Diabetes [years 18-22]
This project examines mechanisms underlying the onset of mitochondrial dysfunction in β-cells following chronic exposure to glucolipotoxic conditions

Senior Research Career Scientist Award
Anjan Kowluru [PI]
This award from the Department of VA provides salary support to Dr. Kowluru [years 6-13]

NIH/NEI R01EY022230
Anjan Kowluru and Renu Kowluru [Multi-PI]
NADPH Oxidase, Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Diabetic Retinopathy
This project examines putative roles of NADPH oxidase in the induction of mitochondrial dysregulation and apoptotic demise of retinal endothelial cells in diabetes.

JDRF Innovation Grant
Anjan Kowluru [PI]
Tiam1-Rac1 Signaling Axis Mediates Beta-Cell Dysfunction in Type-1 Diabetes
To assess the roles of Tiam1/Rac1 signaling step in cytokine-induced metabolic defects and demise of the islet beta-cell.


Anjan Kowluru [PI]
Role of Protein Phosphatases in Insulin Secretion
The overall objective of this proposal was to determine roles for okadaic-acid sensitive protein phosphatases in physiological insulin secretion.

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
Anjan Kowluru [PI]
05/01/2006 -04/30/2010
Novel Approaches to Prevent IL-1-Induced Islet Beta-Cell Dysfunction
The overall objective of this proposal is to investigate the identity of and the regulatory roles for small G-proteins in IL-1-mediated metabolic dysfunction and demise of the islet β-cell and then to develop novel prenylation inhibitors to prevent IL-1-induced effects on the β-cell.

Department of VA Merit Review Award
Anjan Kowluru [PI]
Role of G-Proteins in Islet Signal Transduction
The objective of this proposal is to determine regulatory roles for Rho subfamily of GTP-binding proteins [e.g., Rac1] in glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. The second objective is to determine potential roles for ARF6 G-protein in the transport of insulin-containing secretory granules for fusion with the plasma membrane in the islet β-cell.

American Diabetes Association [Research Award]

Anjan Kowluru [PI]
Novel Roles for Ras in Cytokine-Induced Dysfunction and Demise of the Pancreatic β-Cell
The overall goal of this proposal was to investigate Ras/Raf-1 signaling cascade in cytokine-mediated metabolic dysfunction and demise of the islet β-cell.