Peter Ronner, PhD

Contact Dr. Ronner

233 South Tenth Street
250 BLSB
Philadelphia, PA 19107-5541

(215) 503-5190
(215) 923-9162 fax

Medical School

PhD, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich, Switzerland; Biochemistry - 1978

Expertise and Research Interests

I am interested in the mechanisms which control the release of insulin and glucagon from the pancreas.

Most of my current work is focused on glucagon release. We found that non-B islet cells (most likely glucagon-secreting A-cells) contain ATP-sensitive K-channels (KATP) that are pharmacologically and electrophysiologically indistinguishable from those in insulin-secreting B-cells. I am interested in defining the role of KATP in the regulation of both insulin and glucagon release.

In our studies of normal and tumoral pancreatic endocrine cells we use electrophysiology, flow-cytometric cell-sorting, immunohistochemistry, radioimmunoassays, and sensitive luminometric microhistochemical assays, which we developed recently.

Previously, I have studied the Ca,Mg-ATPase of human erythrocyte membranes, and hormone release from the in vitro micro-perfused endocrine pancreas (weight ~5 mg) of channel catfish (Ictalurus nebulosus).

Other Expertise

Experienced with teaching students of medicine and pharmacy and with coordinating courses for these students.

Experienced with the following lecture topics: enzymes, thermodynamics and pH; carbohydrate uptake; glycolysis; pyruvate kinase deficiency; fructose intolerance and galactosemia; pentose phosphate shunt and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency; citric acid cycle; pancreatic hormones; type 1 diabetes; exercise, insulin resistance and obesity; type 2 diabetes; phenylketonuria and maple syrup urine disease; one-carbon metabolism; purine nucleotide metabolism; hyperuricemia and gout; pyrimidines and chemotherapy.

Experienced with whole-class discussions of problem sets on hypophosphatemia, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, debranching enzyme deficiency, insulinoma, hypoalaninemia/insufficient cortisol release of childhood, diabetic ketoacidosis, abetalipoproteinemia, propionyl-CoA carboxylase deficiency, preeclampsia/HELLP syndrome, glucagonoma. Experienced with small group sessions(~12 students) on oncogenes, sickle cell anemia, diabetes, familial hypercholesterolemia, and gene therapy.

Director of Molecular and Cellular Basis of Medicine course for medical students (the course includes cell biology, cell physiology, molecular biology, genetics, and biochemistry). Writing a textbook on biochemistry focused on clinical relevance and designed for medical students.

Industrial Relevance

Hypoglycemic agents. Diabetes.


Adenosine Diphosphate; Adenosine Triphosphate; Atp; Atp-Sensitive K+ Channel; Bcecf; Blood Glucose; Creatine Kinase; Diabetes; Digestive Diseases And Disorders; Digestive System; Drug Receptor; Education; Electrophysiology; Electrophysiology; Endocrinologic Diseases; Flow Cytometry; Glucagon; Glucagonoma; Glyburide; Green Fluorescent Protein; Hyperglucagonemia; Hyperkalemia; Instruction (Medical); Insulin; Insulin; Insulinoma; Katp-Channel; Laboratory Mouse; Laboratory Rat; Luciferase; Membrane Potential; Membrane Protein; Noninsulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus; Pancreatic Islet; Perfusion; Ph; Potassium Channel; Radioimmunoassay; Somatostatin; Sulfonylurea; Tissue Cell Culture; Transfection; Transgenic Animal; Type 1 Diabetes


English, German, Swiss-German, Some French, Some Italian