Tag Archives: insulin

Connecting with GTAC to learn about Diabetes



On Monday, our students had the opportunity to connect with Maria and Fran at GTAC to learn about signaling molecules, insulin disorders and diabetes. Fran presented information about how molecules transmit signals across the cell membrane to allow glucose (and other substances) to be absorbed at a greater rate. Students modelled this process using paper cut-outs, showing how the message is passed from the insulin receptor, to the transmission molecules, to the effector molecules (vesicles with GLUT4 glucose transporter molecules attached), which allow more protein channels to be situated in the cell membrane. The normal response is that more glucose is absorbed by the cell, but several disorders can result in glucose not being absorbed, such as Type I and Type II diabetes. Students observed diagnostics on blood samples to determine if test patients are diabetic. They then applied the stimulus response model to learn the effect of insulin on glucose homeostasis and explore the role of insulin in cell signaling.