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Jeff Tessem

Associate Professor
Nutrition, Dietetics & Food Science

S-243 ESC
Provo, UT 84042


Dr. Tessem received his Bachelors degree in Microbiology from Brigham Young University in 2001 and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in 2007. Dr. Tessem completed a post-doctoral fellowship with Christopher Newgard at the Duke University Medical Center's Sarah W. Stedman Center for Nutrition and Metabolism Research.

Research Interests

Both Type 1 (T1D) and Type 2 diabetes (T2D) are caused by a relative insufficiency in functional β-cell mass. Current therapeutic options for diabetes include daily insulin injections to maintain normoglycemia, pharmacological agents to stimulate β-cell function and enhance insulin sensitivity, or islet transplantation. A major obstacle to greater application of islet transplantation therapy is the scarcity of human islets. Thus, new methods for expansion of β-cell mass, applied in vitro to generate the large numbers of human islet cells needed for transplantation, or in situ to induce expansion of the patients remaining β-cells, could have broad therapeutic implications for this disease. To this end, our lab is interested in delineating the molecular pathways that increase β-cell proliferation, enhance glucose stimulated insulin secretion, and protect against β-cell death.

Teaching Interests

My teaching interests focus on nutrient metabolism and biochemistry. I am interested in the metabolic disorders that cause human diseases.


  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Preparing Future Faculty , Duke University (2013)
  • Ph.D., Biophysics and Genetics , Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center (2007)
  • BS, Microbiology , Chemistry and Portugues, Brigham Young University (2001)

Honors and Awards

  • Skaggs Distinguished Mentoring Fellowship, BYU Life Science College (2020 - 2023)
  • 2018 Meg Award, BYU ORCA (2018 - 2019)
  • Innovative Basic Science Award, American Diabetes Association (2017 - 2019)
  • Research Award, Diabetes Action Research and Education Foundation (2017 - 2018)
  • 2016 MEG Recipient, BYU ORCA (2016 - 2018)
  • JDRF Utah Chapter Hope for the Future Award, Utah Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (2016 - 2017)
  • Beta Cell Biology Consortium Investigator Scholarship, Beta Cell Biology Consortium (2011 - 2011)
  • Keystone Symposium/NIDDK Scholarship, Keystone Symposium (2010 - 2010)


  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (2017 - Present)
  • American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2017 - Present)
  • American Heart Association (2014 - Present)
  • American Physiological Society (2014 - Present)
  • American Society for Nutrition (2014 - Present)
  • Danish Diabetes Academy (2014 - Present)
  • American Diabetes Association (2011 - Present)

Professional Citizenship

  • Reviewer, Ad Hoc Reviewer, Diabetes Journal (2016 - Present)
  • Reviewer, Ad Hoc Reviewer, Journal of Molecular Cell Biology (2016 - Present)
  • Reviewer, Ad Hoc Reviewer, PLOS ONE Journal (2016 - Present)
  • Reviewer, Ad Hoc Reviewer, American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism (2016 - Present)
  • Committee/Council Member, JDRF (2015 - Present)
  • Reviewer, Ad Hoc Reviewer, JDRF (2013 - Present)
  • Committee/Council Member, American Physiology Society-Communication Committee (2017 - 2020)
  • Reviewer, Ad Hoc Reviewer, NIN-NIDDK-Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology Review Panel (2016 - 2019)

Courses Taught


Jeffery S Tessem Jacob A Herring Weston C Elison Jeffery S Tessem Benjamin F. Bitner Jason D. Ray Kyle B. Kener Jacob A Herring Josie A Tueller Deborah K Johnson Claudia M Tellez Freitas Dane W Fauscnact Mitchel E Allen Alexander H Thomson K Scott Weber Ryan P McMillan Matthew W Hulliver David A Brown Andrew P Neilson B A Parker C M Walton S T Carr J L Andrus Cheung ECK M J Duplisea E K Wilson C Draney D R Lathen K B Kenner David Morley Thomson Jeffery S Tessem Benjamin Thomas Bikman K. B. Kener D. J. Munk Chad R Hancock Jeffery S Tessem T J Rowley, 4th B F Bitner J D Ray D R Lathen A T Smithson B W Dallon C J Plowman Benjamin Thomas Bikman Jason Merrell Hansen M R Dorenkott K M Goodrich L Ye S F O'Keefe A P Neilson Jeffery S Tessem C J Banks N W Rodriguez K R Gashler R R Pandya J B Mortenson M D Whited E J Soderblom J W Thompson M A Moseley A R Reddi Jeffery S Tessem M P Torres Benjamin Thomas Bikman Joshua Andersen MaryJane Sampson Daniel R Lathen Blake W Dallon Carrie Draney Jason D Ray Kyle B Kener Brian A Parker Jonathan L Gibbs Jarom S Gropp Jeffery S Tessem Benjamin Thomas Bikman M S Reynolds Chad R Hancock J D Ray K B Kener C Draney K Garland J Hardman Benjamin Thomas Bikman Jeffery S Tessem J D Ray K B Kener B F Bitner B J Wright Michael Barclay Ballard E J Barrett Jonathon T Hill L G Moss Jeffery S Tessem Jeffery S Tessem Karen M Strat Thomas J Rowley Andrew T Smithson Matthew W Hulver Dongmin Liu Brenda M Davey Kevin P Davy Andrew P Neilson Jeffery S Tessem CArrie Draney Amanda E Hobson Samuel G Grover Benjamin O Jack Amanda Hobson Carrie Draney Andrew Stratford Tom C Becker Danhong Lu Michelle Arlotto Jeffery S Tessem Jeffery S Tessem L G Moss L C Chao M Arlotto D Lu M V Jensen S B Stephens P Tontonoz H E Hohmeier C B Newgard Jeffery S Tessem Jan N Jensen Hanna Pelli Xu M Dai Xiao H Zong Richard E Stanley Jan Jensen James DeGregori Jeffery S Tessem Jonathon C Schisler Patrick T Fueger Daniella A Babu Hans E Hohmeier Danhong Lu Thomas C Becker Bashoo Naziruddin Marlon Levy Ragvhavendra G Mirmira Christopher B Newgard Jeffery S Tessem J DeGregori F X Li J W Zhu Jeffery S Tessem J Beilke M Varella-Garcia J Jensen C J Hogan J DeGregori