Type 1 and type 2 diabetes result from the anatomical and functional loss of insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. Replacement of these cells through regeneration or transplantation could offer lifelong treatment for diabetics. However, a major problem in implementing treatment is the lack of sufficient islet cell tissue for transplantation, and a lack of understanding of how beta cells regenerate. To overcome the shortage of pancreatic islets for transplantation, research to develop alternative cell or tissue sources, as well as an understanding of the basic mechanisms that support regeneration or neogenesis of pancreatic islets is needed.
This program will support research in the following areas:
- Developing methods to expand pancreatic islets or beta cells for transplantation.
- Optimizing growth conditions for islet cell proliferation and differentiation.
- Deriving pancreatic islets from stem/precursor cells.
- Assessing alternative cell or tissue sources by transplantation.
- Animal models of islet regeneration and neogenesis
For more information, contact Dr. Olivier Blondel, Director, Neurobiology of Obesity and Developmental Biology.