faculty portrait if available
Matthew Talbert
Assistant Professor
School of Sciences
CNSB 327
318-342-1798
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Matthew E Talbert, PhD
Assistant Professor, Biology

Education

Ph D

2009, Molecular Medicine (Genetics)
Wake Forest University

BS

2004, Biology
Davidson College

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Talbert joined the faculty at ULM in the Fall of 2012. Prior to doing so, he held two postdoctoral fellowships, one at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and another at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. His dissertation was completed at Wake Forest University, which focused on genetic polymorphism and its contribution to adiposity and glucose homeostasis in Hispanic Americans. Dr. Talbert's current research focus is the unraveling of the molecular and physiological mechanisms by which obesity predisposes humans to disease. To do this, the Talbert laboratory uses Drosophila melanogaster that have entered an obesity-like state via diet. The versatility and rapidity of fruit fly transgenics, along with a range of behavioral, biochemical, and standard molecular assays, stand to contribute to our knowledge of one of our most pressing health concerns.
 

Dr. Talbert is a member of the Pre-Professional Health Advisory Committee at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. His teaching interests are broad, and include genetics, human physiology/anatomy, transgenics, and biomedical ethics.

Research Interests

Obesity is a state of chronically positive energy balance in which body mass is excessive relative to body size. In the United States, over 30% of the adult population is considered obese by body mass. Obese adults are at greatly increased risk for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, certain forms of cancer, and potentially neurodegenerative disease and cognitive decline. 

When Drosophila melanogaster are placed on a diet high in saturated fat or disproportionately high in sugar relative to protein, they adopt an obesity-like state. This state is characterized by reduced lifespan, impeded negative geotaxis (climbing) reflexes, insulin-like peptide resistance, and cardiac difficulties. 

Because not all obese become acquire comorbidities, there must exist physiological mechanisms or "molecular switches" that drive the transition from obese and healthy to obese and ill.

My laboratory is interested in using transgenic, genomic, population genetic, transcriptomic, and metabolomic methods to discern the nature of these pathogenic mechanisms. Invertebrate model organisms are economical and efficient, and they circumvent many limitations experienced in mammalian models (such as the need for breeding facilities, inability to assay life course efficiently, and the inability to transgenically manipulate genes and molecular pathways in a tissue-specific manner with haste). 

Current Projects:

-Evaluation of the role of SOCS36E in obesity pathogenesis

-Positional cloning of obesity-induced mortality loci using the Drosophila Genetics Reference Panel, a population resource that enables GWAS. 

-Evaluation and screening of transcriptomic results (obtained via RNA-Sequencing) for impact on obesity-induced phenotypes

Recent Publications

Talbert, M., Langefeld, C., Ziegler, J., Mychaleckyj, J., Haffner, S., Norris, J., Bowden, D. (2008). Polymorphisms near SOCS3 are associated with obesity and glucose homeostasis traits in Hispanic Americans from the Insulin Resistance Atherosclerosis Family Study. (pp. 153-162). Human Genetics.
Friedman, D., Talbert, M., Bowden, D., Freedman, B., Mukanya, Y., Enjyoji, K., Robson, S. (2008). Functional ENTPD1 polymorphisms in African Americans with diabetes and end-stage renal disease. (pp. 999-1006). Diabetes.
Talbert, M., Langefeld, C., Ziegler, J., Haffner, S., Norris, J., Bowden, D. (2009). INSIG2 SNPs associated with obesity and glucose homeostasis traits in Hispanics: the IRAS Family Study. (pp. 1554-1562). Obesity (Silver Spring).
Norris, J., Talbert, M., Wagenknecht, L., Et Al., . (2009). Genome-wide association study and follow-up analysis of adiposity traits in Hispanic Americans: the IRAS Family Study. (pp. 1932-1941). Obesity (Silver Spring.
McDonough, C., Talbert, M., Bowden, D., Et al., . (2010). A genome-wide association study for diabetic nephropathy genes in African Americans. (pp. 563-572). Kidney International.
Sibbel, S., Talbert, M., Bowden, D., Haffner, S., Taylor, K., Chen, Y., Wagenknecht, L., Langefeld, C., Norris, J. (2011). RGS6 variants are associated with dietary fat intake in Hispanics: the IRAS Family Study. (pp. 1433-1438). Obesity (Silver Spring).
Palmer, N., Talbert, M., Bowden, D., Et al., . (2012). A genome-wide association search for type 2 diabetes genes in African Americans. (pp. e29202). Online: PLoS One.
Hemphill, W., Rivera, O., Talbert, M. (2018). RNA-Sequencing of Drosophila melanogaster Head Tissue on High Sugar and High Fat Diets (pp. 279-290). Online: G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics.
Talbert, M. E., Barnett, B., Hoff, R., Amella, M., Kuczynski, K., Lavington, E., Koury, S., Brud, E., Eanes, W. F. (2015). Genetic perturbation of key central metabolic genes extends lifespan in Drosophila and affects response to dietary restriction. London: Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Research Grants

Briski, K. (Principal), Talbert, M. (Supporting), "Acquisition of a Zeiss 800 Confocal Microscope." (Funded), Sponsored By Louisiana Board of Regents, External to The University of Louisiana at Monroe, $>200,000. (August 2016 - Present).
Talbert, M. (Co-Principal), Findley, A. M. (Co-Principal), Tolson, K. M. (Co-Principal), "Implementing the PowerLab Experimental Suite Across the Human Anatomy & Physiology Curriculum" (Funded), Sponsored By College of Sciences/Academic Affairs, The University of Louisiana at Monroe, $10995. (January 7 2013 - Present).
Talbert, M. (Principal), "JAK/STAT signaling, peripheral insulin resistance, and pathogenesis in the high fat diet model of obesity in Drosophila melanogaster" (Pending Funding Decision), Sponsored By National Institutes of Health, External to The University of Louisiana at Monroe, $352,500. (August 2018 - August 2021).
Talbert, M. (Supporting), Findley, A. (Principal), "Shared Equipment Proposal: HPLC and Freeze Dryer" (Pending Funding Decision), Sponsored By Louisiana Biomedical Research Network, External to The University of Louisiana at Monroe, $50000. (May 2018 - May 2019).
Talbert, M. E. (Principal), Stephens, J. (Other), "Diet-induced obesity in flies: a genomic search for modifiers of pathogenesis." (Funded), Sponsored By LBRN, External to The University of Louisiana at Monroe, $410,290. (September 1 2016 - April 30 2019).
Gissendanner, C. M. (Principal), Findley, A. (Principal), Talbert, M. E. (Supporting), "NIH Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) ULM" (Not Funded), Sponsored By NIH, External to The University of Louisiana at Monroe, >$10,000,000. (August 2015 - August 2018).
Talbert, M. (Principal), "LBRN Core Bucks" (Pending Funding Decision), Sponsored By Louisiana Biomedical Research Network, External to The University of Louisiana at Monroe, $7000. (January 2018 - April 2018).
Pudasainy, S. (Other), Talbert, M. (Principal), "The effect of high fat diet on memory retention and central nervous oxidative stress and apoptosis in Drosophila melanogaster" (Funded), Sponsored By Louisiana Biomedical Research Network, External to The University of Louisiana at Monroe, $3400. (August 2017 - April 2018).
Talbert, M. (Principal), Keenan, M. (Supporting), "An evaluation of Drosophila melanogaster as a potential testing platform for the effects of a resistant starch diet in the context of obesity: a prelude to transgenic or pharmacological studies in flies." (Not Funded), Sponsored By LSU AgCenter, External to The University of Louisiana at Monroe, $57,740. (August 2016 - August 2017).
Findley, A. (Principal), Garlapati, S. (Supporting), Sasek, T. (Supporting), Talbert, M. (Supporting), Wiedemeier, A. (Supporting), "Development of a CNSB Quantitative Biology Center" (Funded), Sponsored By ULM STAP, The University of Louisiana at Monroe, $10,700. (October 2015 - May 2016).
Talbert, M. E. (Principal), "Investigation of the role of Drosophila SOCS36E in energy homeostasis and obesity" (Funded), Sponsored By LBRN INBRE, External to The University of Louisiana at Monroe, $70500. (May 1 2015 - April 30 2016).
Findley, A. M. (Co-Principal), Garlapati, S. (Co-Principal), Sasek, T. (Co-Principal), Gissendanner, C. (Co-Principal), Talbert, M. E. (Co-Principal), Wiedemeier, A. M. (Co-Principal), "Acquisition of Real-Time PCR and Gel Documentation System for ULM Biology." (Funded), Sponsored By LBRN INBRE, External to The University of Louisiana at Monroe, $50000. (May 1 2015 - April 30 2016).
Talbert, M. E. (Co-Principal), Findley, A. M. (Co-Principal), "Implementing the PowerLab Experimental Suite across the Biology Curriculum" (Funded), Sponsored By ULM STAP, The University of Louisiana at Monroe, $16980. (August 2014 - May 2015).
Talbert, M. E. (Principal), "The role of oxidative stress in obesity pathogenesis of Drosophila melanogaster" (Not Funded), Sponsored By LBRN INBRE, External to The University of Louisiana at Monroe, $160,000. (January 1 2014 - April 30 2015).
Talbert, M. E. (Principal), Wiedemeier, A. M. (Supporting), "An investigation of the physiological response to a high fat diet in the head of Drosophila melanogaster" (Funded), Sponsored By Louisiana EPSCoR BOR, External to The University of Louisiana at Monroe, $10,000.00. (January 1 2014 - December 31 2014).
Talbert, M. E. (Principal), "The role of oxidative stress in obesity pathogenesis of Drosophila melanogaster" (Funded), Sponsored By LBRN INBRE, External to The University of Louisiana at Monroe, $19000. (May 17 2014 - August 17 2014).

Awards & Honors

August 2017 "ULM Foundation presents Awards of Excellence".

August 2017 Commendation for receiving the Foundation Award in Research.

August 2017 ULM Foundation presents 6 Awards of Excellence.

August 2017 ULM College of Arts, Education, and Sciences Foundation Award for Excellence in Faculty Research Recipient.

April 2017 ULM College of Arts, Education, and Sciences Foundation Award for Excellence in Faculty Research Recipient.

January 2017 Second Place Best Undergraduate Research Poster at the LBRN Annual Research Symposium .

January 2017 School of Science Nominee for the Foundation Award for Excellence in Faculty Research at ULM.

March 2016 Obesity study takes flight by nearly grounding fruit flies (feature article).

March 2016 Second Place Undergraduate Student Researcher at ULM 16th Annual Student Research Symposium.

March 2016 First Place Graduate Student Researcher at ULM 16th Annual Student Research Symposium.

March 2015 First Place Graduate Student Researcher at ULM 15th Annual Student Research Symposium.

Courses Taught

BIOL 2041HUMAN ANATOMY LABORATORY, 6 course(s)

BIOL 3005GENETICS, 10 course(s)

BIOL 3006GENETICS LABORATORY, 11 course(s)

BIOL 3010HUMAN PHYSIOLOGY, 5 course(s)

BIOL 3013HUMAN PHYSIOLOGY LABORATORY, 6 course(s)

BIOL 4019ADV CONC GENETICS & MOLEC BIOL, 3 course(s)

BIOL 4099SENIOR BIOLOGY SEMINAR, 1 course(s)

BIOL 4115BIOMEDICAL ETHICS, 1 course(s)

BIOL 5005RESEARCH METHODS, 1 course(s)

BIOL 5006RESEARCH METHODS LABORATORY, 1 course(s)

BIOL 5007SEMINAR, 1 course(s)

BIOL 5042ENDOCRINOLOGY, 1 course(s)