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Home » Faculty » Dr. Madhu S. Dhar

Madhu S. Dhar

Research Associate Professor
Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine


Univ. of Poona, India




Univ. of Poona, India




Univ. of Poona, India




Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA




Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, ORNL, USA



Biomedical Sciences

Research Area:

Molecular Genetics and Functional Genomics

Research Description:

The main research focus of Dr. Madhu Dhar’s laboratory is to study animal models of obesity and diabetes to identify novel targets of these complex diseases.  The long term goal is to develop novel therapeutic agents to combat these morbid diseases.  She uses the latest, state-of-the-art molecular techniques of DNA, RNA, and protein in her experiments. Dr. Dhar collaborated with Dr. Nicholas Frank (Large Animal Clinical Sciences), on mechanisms of insulin signaling and glucose homeostasis in lean and obese horses to generate preliminary data for grant applications.  She also collaborated with Dr. Frank Andrews (Large Animal Clinical Sciences), to study the molecular regulation of Na+/K+ ATPase gene in the study of gastric ulcers in horses (a model for Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease).  She mentored students through the Center of Excellence program to carry out this research.  Besides the above, Dr. Dhar is also collaborating with Dr. Joe Bartges (Small Animal Clinical Sciences), to investigate the mechanisms of phospholipid translocase activities regulating obesity and diabetes in dogs.
In the identification of novel animal models, Dr. Dhar’s research focuses on a diet-induced polygenic mouse model of diabetes and obesity that she discovered at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.  She positionally cloned a novel P-type ATPase, Atp10c, a strong candidate for the phenotype, which is suggested to play important roles in intracellular signaling and protein trafficking.  She is using both animal models as well as cell-culture models to study the biological role of this protein in adipogenesis and glucose uptake.  She is collaborating with Dr. Coen Paulusma from Netherlands in this project.  His laboratory has successfully cloned and for the first time demonstrated that these ATPases are important to maintain the asymmetry of the lipid bilayer in plasma membranes and function in endocytic/exocytic processes. She is also collaborating with Dr. John Biggerstaff, UTK to optimize microscopic techiniques to study the redistribution of integral membrane proteins when cells are stimulated with insulin.      

Dr. Dhar has two students working towards their MS through the Comparative and Experimental Biology Program in the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr.Madhu S. Dhar

Contact Information:

Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine
2407 River Drive
Knoxville, TN 37996
Phone: 865-974-5703
Fax: 865-974-

Complete Bio