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Sharifa Love-Rutledge

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Sharifa Love-Rutledge is an American chemist and physiologist and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. She is the first Black woman to earn a PhD from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Her lab explores diabetes and insulin with the goal of detecting early signals of beta cell dysfunction and understanding the effects of Type 1 diabetes susceptibility genes on insulin secreting cells and tissues. In graduate school, Love-Rutledge discovered that Chromium is not an essential dietary element and this information was incorporated by the European Food and Safety Authority guidelines.

Sharifa Love-Rutledge
🏳️ NationalityAmerican
🎓 Alma materTougaloo College
University of Alabama
Michigan State University
💼 Occupation
Discovering that Chromium is not an essential dietary element
🏅 Awards2020 Named as one of the CellPress 100 Inspiring Black Scientists in America, 2008 Outstanding Scholar from Tougaloo College, 2007 Ronald E. McNair Scholar

Early life and education[edit]

Love-Rutledge was born in Moss Point, Mississippi.[1]  Her first exposure to science was when her and her brother received a lab kit for Christmas.[1] After completing every experiment in the kit, Love-Ruttledge was ready for more.[2] She attended Moss Point High School and took Advanced Placement English and Mathematics.[2] Following high school, Love-Ruttledge pursued her undergraduate studies at Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, Mississippi.[1] She started as a biology major, but after taking an introductory chemistry class, she switched her major to chemistry.[2] While at Tougaloo, Love-Rutledge became a member of the Theta Gamma chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc.[3]

After completing her Bachelor of Science in 2008 and graduating magna cum laude, Love-Ruttledge pursued her PhD training at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.[2] Love-Ruttledge was mentored by Randy Watkins and John B. Vincent in the Department of Chemistry.[2] Her research explored the myth that Chromium is an essential element.[4] In 2011, she published results showing that rats provided with a diet of essentially no Chromium showed completely normal biomarkers and health status, and showed no effects of insulin insensitivity.[5] Her results were the first to show that chromium need no longer be listed as an essential dietary element.[5] She also found that the effects of Chromium in the body are pharmacological as opposed to nutritional, and following this, explored measuring potential biomarkers of Chromium in the body to assess its pharmacological action.[6] She found that insulin-stimulated urinary Chromium excretion could not be used as a biomarker of chromium status.[6] Her graduate findings eventually led the European Food and Safety Authority to no longer list Chromium as a required dietary element.[1] Also during her time in graduate school, Love-Rutledge was committed to teaching and served as a graduate Teaching Assistant as well as a Laboratory Instructor throughout her time there.[1] Love-Ruttledge completed her Masters in Chemistry in 2013 and then completed her PhD in Biochemistry in 2014, becoming the first Black women to obtain a PhD from the Department of Chemistry at The University of Alabama.[7]

Career and research[edit]

After completing her graduate degree training in 2014, Love-Rutledge moved to Lansing, Michigan to complete her postdoctoral training at Michigan State University in the Department of Physiology.[3] She trained under L. Karl Olson, studying the biology of pancreatic Beta cell growth, differentiation, and development.[8] She presented her work exploring lipid signatures as early biomarkers of Type 1 Diabetes at the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemist and Chemical Engineers conference in 2016.[9] She then explored how interferon (IFN)-regulated pathways contribute to type 1 diabetes. She found that IFN signalling promoted lipid droplet formation within Beta cells leading to enhanced expression of antiviral response genes, impaired secretory function, endoplasmic reticulum stress, and Beta Cell death.[10]

In 2017, Love-Rutledge was recruited to the University of Alabama in Huntsville to become an Assistant Professor in the Chemistry Department.[11] She teaches biochemistry to undergraduates and is the Principal Investigator of the Love-Rutledge Lab.[11] Her lab explores the physiology and biochemistry of diabetes and insulin resistance.[12] Their work specifically focuses on identifying early biomarkers and signals with which to detect the onset of diabetes and dysfunction of insulin secreting Beta cells.[12] They also explore the effects that diabetes susceptibility genes have on insulin sensitive tissues throughout the body.[12]

Love-Rutledge is a Member of Association for Women in Science, the Society of Toxicology, the American Chemical Society, The American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemist and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE).[3]

Awards and honors[edit]

  • 2020 Named as one of the CellPress 100 Inspiring Black Scientists in America[13]
  • 2019 Flare Program Endocrine Society[14]
  • 2019 Helmsley Cheritable Trust Abstract Awards in Type 1 Diabetes[15]
  • 2013, 2016 Advancing Science Award, National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemist and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE)[16]
  • 2008 Alan B Hisey Scholarship, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa
  • 2008 Lois Stokes Mississippi Alliance for Minority Participation Scholar[3]
  • 2008 Outstanding Scholar from Tougaloo College [3]
  • 2007 Ronald E. McNair Scholar[1]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Love ST, Di Bona KR, Sinha SH, McAdory D, Skinner BR, Rasco JF, & Vincent JB. Urinary Chromium Excretion in Response to an Insulin Challenge Is Not a Biomarker for Chromium Status Biological Trace Element Research 2013, 152(1):57-65[17]
  • Staniek H, Rhodes NR, Di Bona KR, Deng G, Love ST, Pledger LA, Blount J, Gomberg E, Grappe F, Cernosek C, Peoples B, Rasco JF, Krejpcio Z, & Vincent JB. Comparison of Tissue Metal Concentrations in Zucker Lean, Zucker Obese, and Zucker Diabetic Fatty Rats and the Effects of Chromium Supplementation on Tissue Metal Concentrations Biological Trace Element Research 2013, 151(3):373-83[17]
  • Vincent JB, Love S. The Need for Combined Inorganic, Biochemical, and Nutritional Studies of Chromium (III) Chemistry & Biodiversity 2012, 9(9):1923-41[17]
  • Vincent JB, Love S. The binding and transport of alternative metals by transferrin. Biochimica Biophysica Acta -General Subjects 2012, 1820(3):362-78[17]
  • Di Bona KR, Love S, Rhodes NR, McAdory D, Sinha SH, Kern N, Kent J, Strickland J, Wilson A, Beaird J, Ramage J, Rasco JF & Vincent JB. Chromium is not an essential trace element for mammals: Effects of a “low-chromium” diet. Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry. 2010, 16(3):381-90.[17]
  • Rhodes NR, McAdory D, Love S, Di Bona KR, Chen Y, Ansorge K, Hira J, Kern N, Kent J, Lara P, Rasco JF & Vincent JB. Urinary chromium loss associated with diabetes is offset by increases in absorption. Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry. 2010, 104(7): 790-97.[17]

External links[edit]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 "Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry - News". chemistry.olemiss.edu. Retrieved 2020-06-12.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 "UAH welcomes Dr. Sharifa Love-Rutledge to the College of Science". The University of Alabama in Huntsville. 2017-08-28. Retrieved 2020-06-12.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 "Alumni Milestones". www.tougaloo.edu. Retrieved 2020-06-12.
  4. Vincent, John B. (2017-12-01). "New Evidence against Chromium as an Essential Trace Element". The Journal of Nutrition. 147 (12): 2212–2219. doi:10.3945/jn.117.255901. ISSN 0022-3166.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Di Bona, Kristin R.; Love, Sharifa; Rhodes, Nicholas R.; McAdory, DeAna; Sinha, Sarmistha Halder; Kern, Naomi; Kent, Julia; Strickland, Jessyln; Wilson, Austin; Beaird, Janis; Ramage, James (March 2011). "Chromium is not an essential trace element for mammals: effects of a "low-chromium" diet". Journal of biological inorganic chemistry: JBIC: a publication of the Society of Biological Inorganic Chemistry. 16 (3): 381–390. doi:10.1007/s00775-010-0734-y. ISSN 1432-1327. PMID 21086001.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Love, Sharifa T.; Di Bona, Kristin R.; Sinha, Sarmistha Halder; McAdory, DeAna; Skinner, Brittany R.; Rasco, Jane F.; Vincent, John B. (April 2013). "Urinary chromium excretion in response to an insulin challenge is not a biomarker for chromium status". Biological Trace Element Research. 152 (1): 57–65. doi:10.1007/s12011-012-9594-3. ISSN 1559-0720. PMID 23296902.
  7. community.chronicle.com https://community.chronicle.com/people/848507-sharifa-love-rutledge/profile. Retrieved 2020-06-12. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. "L. Karl Olson, Ph.D." physiology.natsci.msu.edu. Retrieved 2020-06-12.
  9. "UNIVERSITY UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH AND ARTS FORUM" (PDF). urca.msu.edu. April 7, 2017. Retrieved June 11, 2020. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  10. Truong, Nguyen; Love-Rutledge, Sharifa; Lydic, Todd; Olson, L. Karl (2019-04-01). "Effect of interferon gamma on neutral lipid levels, lipid droplet formation, and antiviral responses in pancreatic islets and INS-1 β cells". The FASEB Journal. 33 (1_supplement): 654.11–654.11. doi:10.1096/fasebj.2019.33.1_supplement.654.11. ISSN 0892-6638.
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Sharifa Love-Rutledge". The University of Alabama in Huntsville. 2017-07-27. Retrieved 2020-06-12.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 "Love-Rutledge Lab". sites.google.com. Retrieved 2020-06-12.
  13. Jr, Antentor O. Hinton. "100 inspiring black scientists in America". crosstalk.cell.com. Retrieved 2020-06-12.
  14. "FLARE Program Alumni | Endocrine Society". www.endocrine.org. Retrieved 2020-06-12.
  15. "Helmsley Charitable Trust Abstract Awards in Type 1 Diabetes | Endocrine Society". www.endocrine.org. Retrieved 2020-06-12.
  16. "NOBCChE Conference". www.nobcche.org. Retrieved 2020-06-12.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.5 "Sharifa Love-Rutledge - Google Scholar Citations". scholar.google.com. Retrieved 2020-06-12.

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