Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Richard Joh


There are currently 96 million individuals affected by diabetes in the United States alone. Crucial information such as biomarkers, regulatory networks, and metabolic pathways in diabetes still remain an active area of research. The primary focus of this study is on a phenomena known as transcription factor co-regulation. Transcription factors (TFs) are DNA-binding proteins that can control the rate of transcription of genetic information from DNA to mRNA, hence misregulation of one of them can lead to misregulation of many of its target genes and associated pathways. In this study I propose a framework to quantify transcriptional coherence in co-regulated pathways. By studying insulin and glucose associated biological processes, I was able to identify new co-regulated pathways that are potentially diabetes associated. In total I was able to identify two new insulin associated pathways and three new glucose associated pathways that are linked to diabetes. These pathways had a high proportion of differentially expressed genes associated with insulin resistant patients. These pathways also had the presence of known diabetes biomarkers, such as TBX3, INHBA, and RUNX1. This framework can not only be used on diabetes, but on other human diseases like cancer. Future work includes a wet-lab based validation of newly proposed diabetes associated pathways, as well as refining the framework and defining generalized cutoff values for functionally disparate co-regulated biological processes.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission


Available for download on Saturday, August 10, 2024