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Brehm Professors

Ernesto Bernal-Mizrachi, M.D.

Larry D. Soderquist Professor
Associate Professor of Internal Medicine
Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology & Diabetes
Bernal Lab

The U-M Comprehensive Diabetes Center welcomes Dr. Ernesto Bernal-Mizrachi to the team in July 2009. Dr. Bernal-Mizrachi is the Larry D. Soderquist Professor, a professorship that is funded by the generosity of Dee and Bill Brehm in honor of Dee's late brother.

Dr. Bernal-Mizrachi received his M.D. degree from Universidad del Valle in Cali, Colombia, in 1989. After two years at the Universidad del Valle, he continued his internal medicine training at the University of Miami Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Bernal-Mizrachi then accepted a fellowship in endocrinology at Washington University in St. Louis, MO (1996–1999). He started his academic career as a junior faculty member at Washington University in 2000 and became an assistant professor of medicine in 2004.

Dr. Bernal-Mizrachi's research interests involve the understanding the molecular mechanisms that govern growth and survival of islet b-cells. The approach used in the laboratory includes the use of animal models and in vitro experiments. These experiments are focused on the importance of the insulin signaling pathway in regulation of β-cell mass, function and plasticity. The results of these studies positively affect treatment of human diabetes, because they uncover potential targets to develop new pharmacologic agents designed to augment survival and proliferation of β-cells in vivo and in vitro. Finally, the regulation of cellular plasticity in terminally differentiated acinar and β-cells by manipulation of the insulin signaling pathway could be an attractive approach to generate tissues as replacement therapy for diabetes or other conditions.

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Larry D. Soderquist, the brother of Delores (Dee) Brehm, was one of the nation's most respected securities law scholars and director of the Corporate and Securities Law Institute at Vanderbilt University Law School before his death from injuries he sustained in an auto accident. A native of Ypsilanti, Michigan, Mr. Soderquist was a graduate of Eastern Michigan University, where he received the bachelor's degree in 1966, and earned his law degree from Harvard University in 1969. In 1971, he joined the Wall Street law firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley and McCloy. In 1976, he left law practice to accept a faculty appointment at the University of Notre Dame Law School, followed by a one-year visiting professorship at Vanderbilt University. Mr. Soderquist's one-year appointment transitioned into a full-time tenured faculty position at that institution.

Mr. Soderquist taught and wrote on corporate and securities law. The textbooks and law review articles he wrote, along with the Practising Law Institute training programs he conducted around the country, led to Mr. Soderquist being recognized as one of the nation's foremost experts in securities law. Two of the most notable books he authored are Understanding the Securities Laws (an edition of which was published in the People's Republic of China in 2004) and Investor's Rights Handbook. In addition to eight books and numerous articles on law, for a time he wrote a weekly column for the Nashville Business Journal.