Aleksandar Jeremic
Senior Investigator, Non-Resident Member

George Washington University

Aleksandar Jeremic, Ph.D., is Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the George Washington University, DC. Prof. Jeremic received his BS/MS in Biochemistry from the University of Belgrade, Serbia; and his Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State University, Ames, USA. Prof. Jeremic expertise and research focus are in structural, cell and protein (amyloid) biology.

    As a graduate student at Iowa State University he worked on the molecular mechanisms of neurotransmitter release and neuron-glia communications and signaling. As a postdoctoral fellow in the department of Physiology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Prof. Jeremic investigated molecular machinery and universal mechanisms driving membrane fusion and vesicular secretion in neuroendocrine and exocrine cells and tissues. As an Assistant/Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the George Washington University University, Prof. Jeremic and his research team have determined the organization, dynamics and toxic mechanism of action of the human islet pancreatic hormone, amylin. Using high resolution imaging and spectroscopy approaches, his team captured and described conformational changes of elusive amylin’s supramolecular assemblies, oligomers and fibrils, and demonstrated the pivotal regulatory role of plasma membrane cholesterol in amylin supramolecular assembly. Additionally, his lab was first to show the important regulatory role of the proteasome complex in turnover and gene expression of the human pancreatic beta-cell hormone, amylin. Prof. Jeremic’s in vivo studies, using transgenic human amylin rodent model, revealed the novel and important contribution of apoptosis signaling kinase-ASK 1 in amylin induced-diabetes. In line with these studies, Prof. Jeremic current work focuses on splicing and transcriptional mechanisms and gene networks driving hormone expression and release from pancreatic beta-cells under normal and stressed / gluco-lipotoxic conditions. In a collaborative effort with Prof. Zderic lab from GW Biomedical Engineering Department, Prof. Jeremic and his team are currently exploring mechanobiology of hormone secretion and signaling in endocrine cells and tissues. Specifically, we study the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which low-frequency therapeutic ultrasound (TUS) stimulates insulin release from rodent and human pancreatic beta-cells. In our current sono-genetic studies, we are also investigating the effect of TUS-stimulation on gene expression in the pancreas with focus on secretory proteins and channels regulating hormone secretion from rodent and human islets.

Collectively, ongoing studies in Prof. Jeremic lab are aimed at providing novel and important clues about mechanisms and etiology of amylin-induced b-cells stress and type-2 diabetes mellitus, as well as non-pharmacological and non-invasive strategies to ameliorate secretory defects in diabetic patients.