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Angelo State University
Department of Physical Therapy

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Diabetes Research Lab

The ASU Diabetes Research Lab conducts various basic science and human research projects. The primary focus is to investigate the effects of Physical Therapy interventions including physical agents (i.e. electrical stimulation, ultrasound, and infrared) and exercise on diabetes. The lab is well-equipped for essential tissue and cell culture studies. By collaborating with the ASU Agriculture Department, one of the current research domains is to conduct in vitro studies using insulin-producing islet cells, which are isolated from the pig pancreas.

Director: Dr. Han-Hung (Floyd) Huang

Location: Center for Human Performance, Room 141

Research Projects

  • Low-level Light Therapy on Pig Islets
  • Motor-level Electrical Stimulation on Skeletal Muscles
  • Active Video Gaming Club
  • Peer Reviewed Publications

    Peer Reviewed Publications

    • Huang, H-H., Stehno-Bittel, L., (2015) Differences in Insulin Biosynthesis Pathway in Small and Large Islets are not Consistent. (In preparation)
    • Estrada, M., Huang, H-H., (2015) Aerobic and Resistance Exercise Protocols for Overweight and Obese Children: A Systematic Review. (In preparation)
    • Ramachandran, K., Huang, H-H., Stehno-Bittel, L., (2014) A Simple Method to Replace Islet Equivalents for Volume Quantification of Human Islets. Cell Transplantation, (Epub ahead of print)
    • Rawal, S., Huang, H-H., Novikova, L., Hamedi, T., Smirnova, I.V., Stehno-Bittel, L., (2013) Effect of exercise on pancreatic islets in zucker diabetic fatty rats. J Diabetes Metab, S10:007
    • Farhat, B., Almelkar, A., Ramachandran, K., Williams, S.J., Huang, H-H., Zamierowksi, D., Novikova, L., Stehno-Bittel, L., (2013) Small human islets comprised of more β-cells with higher insulin content than large islets. Islets, 5:2.
    • Ramachandran, K., Williams, S.J., Huang, H-H., Novikova, L., Stehno-Bittel, L., (2013) Engineering islets for improved performance by optimized reaggregation in a micro-mold. Tissue Engineering, 19:5-6,604-12
    • Huang, H-H., Ramachandran, K., Stehno-Bittel, L., (2012) A replacement for islet equivalents with improved reliability and validity. Acta Diabetol, [Epub ahead of print]
    • Huang, H-H., Farmer, K., Windscheffel, J., Mason, K., Power, M., Wright, D., Stehno-Bittel, L., (2011)
    • Exercise increases insulin content and basal secretion in pancreatic islets in type 1 diabetic mice. Experimental Diabetes Research, 2011:481427 (Figure is used in the review article by Dr. Narendran at the University of Birmingham in UK as a strong evidence of exercise effect on beta-cells)
    • Wang, W., Guo, Y., Xu, M., Huang, H-H., Novikova, L., Larade, K., Jiang Z-G., Thayer T.C., Forntera J.R., Aires D., Ding H., Turk, J., Mathews C.E., Bunn H.F., Stehno-Bittel, L., Zhu, H. (2011) Development of diabetes in lean Ncb5or-null mice is associated with manifestations of endoplasmic reticulum and oxidative stress in beta cells. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta- Molecular Basis of Disease, 1812:11, 1532-41.
    • Huang, H-H., Novikova, L., Williams, S.J., Smirnova, I.V., Stehno-Bittel, L., (2011) Low insulin content of large islet population is present in situ and in isolated islets. Islets, 3:1,6-13. (Image is used on the cover of the journal)
    • Williams, S.J., Huang, H-H., Kover, K., Moore, W., Berkland, C., Singh, M., Smirnova, I.V., MacGregor, R., Stehno-Bittel, L., (2010) Reduction of diffusion barriers in isolated rat islets improves survival, but not insulin secretion or transplantation outcome. Organogenesis, 6:2,115-124.
  • Sponsored Awards

    Sponsored Awards


    $15,000 total direct costs

    “The Investigation of the Effect of Therapeutic Pulsed Ultrasound on Controlling Blood Sugar in Diabetes.”

    2015-2016, Faculty Research Enhancement Program Award, Angelo State University


    $5,000 total direct costs

    “The Investigation of the Effects of Animal-assisted Therapy on Post-stroke Rehabilitation.”

    2014-2015, Faculty Research Enhancement Program Award, Angelo State University


    $10,000 total direct costs

    “The Investigation of the Potential of Infrared Light Therapy in Controlling Blood Sugar in Diabetes.”

    2013-2014, Faculty Research Enhancement Program Award, Angelo State University


    $10,307 total direct costs

    “Start-up Funds to Establish a Cell-Culture Laboratory in Physical Therapy.”

    2012-2013, Faculty Research Enhancement Program Award, Angelo State University


 Diabetes Research Team 2016

Back row: Trevor Hansen, Suzanne Deegan, and Annika Johnson

Front row: Darren Raptis, Charity McCluskey,  Dr. Floyd Huang, and April Rew