Michael Kalwat, PhD

Assistant Investigator

Joined the IBRI in November 2020

Michael Kalwat

Michael Kalwat, PhD, is an assistant investigator in the Lilly Diabetes Center of Excellence within the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute's Diabetes Center. He also is a member of the Indiana University (IU) School of Medicine's Center for Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases. Kalwat investigates the molecular mechanisms of regulated secretion and the use of genetic and pharmacological tools for this purpose.

The Kalwat Lab bridges small molecule and genetic high-throughput screening with target and pathway identification in dedicated secretory cell types. Because many of these cell types malfunction in metabolic diseases (i.e., failure of insulin-secreting β cells in diabetes), new knowledge about the regulation of their basic cell biological functions is critical to advancing the field and therapeutic development.

Kalwat completed his PhD dissertation in Debbie Thurmond’s lab in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the IU School of Medicine in 2012, where he focused on cytoskeletal regulation of SNARE-mediated insulin exocytosis. He then trained as a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Melanie Cobb at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, where he developed key reagents for assaying secretory cell function. His work yielded a cohort of distinct small molecule secretion modulators with impacts on calcium influx, cAMP generation and the unfolded protein response.

View Kalwat's published research here.

Areas of Expertise

  • Biochemistry
  • Cytoskeletal regulation
  • Genetic and pharmacological tools
  • Molecular biology


  • Doctor of Philosophy (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology), Indiana University School of Medicine, 2012
  • Bachelor of Science (Biochemistry), Purdue University, 2007