Nunemaker Lab

Finding and fixing the earliest signs of failure in insulin-producing beta-cells

Recent News

Ibiagbani and Grace Present Their Research in Cleveland

(September, 2021) Ibiagbani Max-Harry and Grace Counts (pictured) traveled to...

(September, 2021) Ibiagbani Max-Harry and Grace Counts (pictured) traveled to Cleveland, Ohio to present their research at the 35th Ohio Physiological Society meeting. Great job disseminating your research!


Kira and Grace Team Up for a Paper in Metallomics

(August, 2021) Kira Slepchenko earns a first author publication working...

(August, 2021) Kira Slepchenko earns a first author publication working alongside undergraduate Grace Counts. The studies utilized synchrotron fluorescence imaging to quantify metal distribution in beta cells. Check it out here!

Nunemaker and Kopchick Labs Work Together on Publication

(June, 2021) Lab Manager Kathryn Corbin earns a co-first authorship with multiple lab members contributing as authors. The paper was part of a collaboration with the Kopchick lab investigating the role of growth hormone in pancreatic islet development. Read more here.

William Koch Graduates as the First PhD Student from the Nunemaker Lab

(May, 2021) William just defended his dissertation describing a novel...

(May, 2021) William just defended his dissertation describing a novel compound as a potential treatment for type 1 diabetes. He is the first doctoral student to graduate from the Nunemaker lab and will now return to medical school to finish his DO/PhD dual degree program.

New Publication Teaches Methods for Islet Isolation and Assessment

(March, 2021) Six members of the lab worked together to...

(March, 2021) Six members of the lab worked together to write a review that includes detailed methods regarding pancreatic islet isolation and assessment. The purpose of the paper is to expand on the previous guide published in 2009 to help researchers obtain quality tissue for their studies. Read the open-access paper here.

Multiple Lab Members Team Up on Recent Publication

(December, 2020) Undergraduates Hannah West and Catie D’Angelo, medical student Lauren Donovan, former postdoc Ishrat Jahan, and lab manager Kathryn Corbin team up on their publication, “Postnatal maturation of calcium signaling in islets of Langerhans from neonatal mice.” Read the article here.

Lab Alumni and Grad Student Publish Book Chapter

(December, 2020) Nunemaker lab alumni Rachel Scarl and current graduate student William Koch just published a book chapter titled, “Isolation and Assessment of Pancreatic Islets Versus Dispersed Beta Cells: A Straightforward Approach to Examine Cell-Cell Communication.” Read it here!

Three Lab Members Awarded Funding

(November, 2020) Honors Tutorial College undergraduate Katie Gerber (pictured), Molecular...

(November, 2020) Honors Tutorial College undergraduate Katie Gerber (pictured), Molecular and Cellular Biology student Ibiagbani Max-Harry, and Translational Biomedical Sciences student Nick Whitticar were all awarded funding this fall. Projects will investigate the amplification pathway of insulin secretion, the effect of parathyroid hormone related protein on islet function, and the role of aberrant insulin secretion in the progression of type 2 diabetes, respectively. A total of $31,500 was awarded through the John J. Kopchick Awards. Check out the news article here.

Nick Whitticar Gets His First Publication as a Grad Student

(June, 2020) Nick just earned a sole first-authorship for a perspectives piece about a counterintuitive theory to enhance insulin secretion by reducing glucokinase activity. Check it out here!

Ibiagbani Max-Harry Earns Her First Grant

(April, 2020) Ibi was awarded $1,000 from the Graduate Student Research Fund for her research on parathyroid hormone-related protein morphology and function. She will be investigating insulin secretion and islet morphology in knock-in mice lacking the Nuclear localization sequence and c-terminus of PTHrP. This is her first grant with many more to come!

Kira Slepchenko Earns Research Funding

(March, 2020) Kira Slepchenko just received $6,000 of funding for her research by earning a highly competitive Student Enhancement Award. Her project will investigate the inflammation sensitive iron-regulating protein hepcidin in diabetes. Learn more about the award here!

Nathan Law Earns a First-Author Publication

(February, 2020) Undergraduate student Nathan Law publishes his first manuscript titled, “Chronic stimulation induces adaptive potassium channel activity that restores calcium oscillations in pancreatic islets in vitro.” Nathan has now graduated and is a medical student at the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine at Ohio University! Read the article here.

Hannah West Secures $1,500 in Research Funding

(November, 2019) Now in her final year of college, Hannah...

(November, 2019) Now in her final year of college, Hannah West (second from left) has earned $1,500 through the John J. Kopchick Undergraduate Student Support Fund. This is the second competitive grant Hannah has won this year to fund her research on neonatal islet development. Awesome job Hannah!

William Koch Wins Again!

(November, 2019) For the second year in a row, Bill...

(November, 2019) For the second year in a row, Bill Koch (second from right) has earned the John J. Kopchick Research Fellowship Award. $10,000 of funding will be put toward determining the mechanism of action behind a novel drug for the treatment of type 1 diabetes. This comes after his successful in vivo trial of the compound funded by his last fellowship award.

The Nunemaker Lab Welcomes a New International Graduate Student

(August, 2019) Ibiagbani Max-Harry joins the lab as part of the Molecular and Cellular Biology PhD program. Ibi is a very bright student from Nigeria who will be working with Dr. Nunemaker and Dr. Rosol to investigate morphological differences in pancreatic islets from various mammalian species. Welcome to the lab Ibi!

Nunemaker Lab Travels to the Midwest Islet Club Conference

(May, 2019) Eight members of the Nunemaker Lab traveled to...

(May, 2019) Eight members of the Nunemaker Lab traveled to Ann Arbor, Michigan for the 12th annual Midwest Islet Club. Five students presented posters of their research and Nick Whitticar was chosen to give an oral presentation regarding his work on reducing pancreatic islet overactivity. The trip was fully funded by numerous internal funding sources.

Multiple Students Win Awards at 2019 Student Expo

(April, 2019) Bill Koch, Hannah West, and Kira Slepchenko take...

(April, 2019) Bill Koch, Hannah West, and Kira Slepchenko take home ribbons from the 2019 Ohio University Student Expo. Kira was presented the second place graduate student ribbon at this year’s Expo by Ohio University President Duane Nellis!

Nunemaker Lab Awarded NIDDK R15 Grant

(April, 2019) The Nunemaker Lab received a $453,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health (DK121247) to study the role of glycolytic oscillations in maintaining pancreatic islet health and function in the presence of hyperglycemia. Learn more here.

Our Focus

Without insulin, your body would not be able to regulate how much fuel (glucose) to provide to your muscles or how much energy should be put into storage as fat. Without insulin, you get diabetes (too much sugar in the blood, and not enough where it belongs). My lab studies the cells in the pancreas that make and release insulin in order to learn how they help to regulate energy needs of the body and to learn how to fix what goes wrong with the beta-cells in type 2 diabetes. See our work and specific projects.

Here is a link to all of our publications:

Our laboratory is devoted to finding and fixing the earliest signs of failure in insulin-producing beta-cells that lead to diabetes.

Our Members

Dr. Craig Nunemaker

Dr. Craig Nunemaker

Principle Investigator

Kathryn Corbin

Kathryn Corbin

Lab Manager

Kira Slepchenko

Kira Slepchenko

PhD Student

Nick Whitticar

Nick Whitticar

PhD Student

Ibiagbani Max-Harry

Ibiagbani Max-Harry

PhD Student


Graduate Student

Grace Counts


Maisy Bogart


Lauren Lutz


Join the Nunemaker Lab

The Nunemaker Lab is actively seeking graduate students. Prospective graduate students should directly contact Dr. Craig Nunemaker and apply through the Biological Sciences (M.S./Ph.D.), Molecular and Cellular Biology (Ph.D.), or Translational Biomedical Sciences (Ph.D.) programs.

The Nunemaker Lab is also seeking the dedicated undergraduate students. Prospective undergraduate research assistants (RA), will learn standard molecular biology techniques (gel electrophoresis, PCR, western blot, immunohistochemistry), as well as cell culture, mouse genetics, state of the art confocal microscopy, and lineage tracing analysis. See details below.

Duties of undergraduate research assistants

Commit approximately 8-10 hours per week on a flexible basis to work in the lab. This work is designed to address some of the issues described above and also serves as pilot work for our patient studies. RA’s typically work in concert with Dr. Nunemaker, Dr. Corbin and other members of the laboratory in the laboratory. Each RA is assigned to one project, usually based on their expressed preference after hearing about the current projects. RA’s are trained on how to use the equipment, run the experiments, and analyze the data. They are expected to read the current literature related to their project and participate in weekly lab meetings. Students who have completed some course work in biology and physiology are given preference. Familiarity with PC-based computers is a plus. Research assistant positions will begin as experience-gaining volunteer opportunities, with the possibility of moving into a paid or for-credit arrangement. RAs are also encouraged to complete their honor’s thesis in the lab. Given the amount of training involved, we prefer students who anticipate being able to work in the lab for at least one full year.