Co-founder and Vice President, Research and Development
Jerry Colca is a widely recognized expert in the pathophysiology of insulin resistance and the pharmacological mechanisms of action of insulin sensitizing drugs. He has dedicated his career to studying the endocrine control of metabolism as it relates to diabetes and has been focused on insulin sensitizers from the early days of their discovery, especially on the safety and pharmacology of pioglitazone.
In 1984, Dr. Colca joined The Upjohn Company to study the mechanism of action of the thiazolidinediones and served as project leader for the selection and early development of pioglitazone hydrochloride (Actos®), one of the most successful insulin sensitizers ever developed for the treatment of diabetes. Following The Upjohn Company’s decision to exit the diabetes field in 1993, Dr. Colca continued his metabolic disease research with the company through its mergers with Pharmacia, Monsanto-Searle and Pfizer, building a new diabetes drug discovery capability in Sweden for Pharmacia and developing a new target discovery effort in St. Louis for Pfizer. In 2006 Dr. Colca co-founded MSDC, a company focused on development of compounds to treat metabolic diseases based on the discovery of a novel mitochondrial protein complex that is believed to be the mechanism through which insulin sensitizing drugs achieve effective glucose control.
Dr. Colca has published widely on the mechanism of action of insulin sensitizers and is the author of more than 80 publications, chapters and presentations. He is a section editor for Expert Opinion in Investigational Drugs and is a member of numerous organizations including American Diabetes Association, American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and The New York Academy of Sciences.
Dr. Colca received a B.S. in biology and an M.S. and Ph.D. in physiology and biochemistry from the University of Houston, where his early studies focused on the regulation of the secretion of pancreatic hormones. His post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Pathology at Washington University, School of Medicine in St. Louis concentrated on the biochemistry of isolated pancreatic islets and the study of stimulus-secretion coupling in the control of metabolism.