Jing attended Stanford University as undergraduate and completed M.D. Ph.D. training at University of Pennsylvania. After residency and endocrinology fellowship at Yale, she moved to Washington University and did an extended research fellowship with Dr. David Piston, studying glucagon regulation by brown fat. She is now an independent investigator in the Endocrine Division and working on primary cilia and diabetes.
The islet of Langerhans produces hormones that drive glucose metabolism. Dr. Hughes studies how hormone secretion is controlled by a small sensory organelle called the primary cilium. Her lab showed that islet cells require cilia to respond to glucose and secrete insulin. Blocking cilia action can cause diabetes and metabolic complications.
Dr. Hughes has had extensive research experience as a diabetologist. While at Yale, she pioneered a high-throughput imaging technique to study beta cell apoptosis in type 1 diabetes. Here at Washington University, Dr. Hughes avidly collaborates with other labs to study islet structure and function. Dr. Hughes is actively involved in patient care and teaching, also has participated in a number of clinical trials that study the role of immune-modulator drugs on type 1 diabetes.