Academic Division: Mathematics, Analytics, Science, and Technology
Dr. De Zutter is a research scientist in the lab of Dr. Anthony Carruthers in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at UMass Medical Center in Worcester, Massachusetts. She received her B.S. in Biology from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell in 1991, worked in the Biotech industry for several years before earning her Ph. D. in Biochemistry from the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 2001. Dr. De Zutter's research focuses on studying the structure and function of the GLUT family of passive glucose transport proteins. A hallmark of cancer is an increase in glucose metabolism seen in highly proliferating cells. GLUT1 (the blood brain barrier transporter), GLUT3 (the neuronal transporter) and in some cases GLUT12 expression has been shown to be significantly increased in rapidly dividing cells. One potential strategy to exploit this metabolic characteristic of cancer cells is to screen and characterize potential chemical agents that inhibit glucose transport across the cell membrane both in vitro and in vivo. These studies will not only help to understand GLUT regulation in health and disease, but will also provide potential therapeutic targets for controlling glucose availability when perturbed by diseases, such as cancer. Prior to her arrival at Babson, she has taught courses at Becker and Dean College as an Adjunct Professor. Dr. De Zutter is interested in the science of biotechnology and the social, political and ethical questions that it raises, and promoting scientific literacy in the broader community.