Finding better ways to make insulin producing cells to treat diabetes
About the project:
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a condition in which the immune system attacks and destroys the cells that make insulin, the hormone required to regulate the level of sugar in the blood. To keep blood sugar at a safe level, people with T1D need insulin, either delivered by injection or via an insulin pump. Although this treatment is lifesaving, it does not replicate the fine control of blood glucose provided by insulin producing beta cells. As such, people with T1D often acquire secondary conditions that reduce their quality of life and life span.
Currently, the only cure for T1D is islet transplantation, a treatment restricted by the scarcity of donor material. Stem cells offer the possibility of generating an unlimited number of insulin-producing beta cells for transplantation therapy, provided this can be done safely and efficiently. In this project, we will discover new molecules and technical modifications that increase the efficiency and yield of beta cells generated from stem cells.
Research theme: reBUILD
Tissue of interest: Pancreas