Dr. Poy is a senior scientist and a member of the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Institute for Fundamental Biomedical Research. He also is an assistant professor of medicine in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He studies the function of non-coding RNAs in energy metabolism and their regulatory role in the pathogenesis of obesity and diabetes.
Dr. Poy is among the first to describe how microRNA—tiny molecules that fine-tune how genes carry out the information encoded in our DNA—could target a specific gene and control insulin secretion. He is at the leading edge of microRNA research, which holds promise for understanding how these molecules contribute to an adaptive, compensatory response in the regulation of glucose homeostasis, and may be applied to treatment for diabetes and potentially other metabolic-based diseases related to the pancreas, heart and liver.
Dr. Poy also has studied the regulatory role of the brain in energy metabolism and recently published several papers on Cell adhesion molecule 1 (CADM1), a gene in the brain associated with weight gain. He hopes learning more could lead to predictive markers for obesity that allow for early intervention in children. “One of the goals coming to Johns Hopkins is understanding how genes like CADM1 and how microRNA contribute to the circuits of the brain, which regulate metabolism,” Dr. Poy says.
Born in Bethesda, Maryland, Dr. Poy studied biology and earned a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences at the Medical College of Ohio in Toledo. He did post-doctoral work with Markus Stoffel, M.D., Ph.D., at Rockefeller University and relocated in 2007 with Dr. Stoffel to the ETH-Zürich in Switzerland. In 2008, Dr. Poy started a 10-year stint at the Max Delbruck Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin, Germany, before joining Johns Hopkins All Children’s in 2018.