Anil Bhushan, Ph.D. - Investigator Profile
Diabetes results from an inadequate mass of functional beta cells. Such inadequacy could result from loss of beta cells due to an immune assault or the lack of compensation to overcome insulin resistance. Developing ways to replenish this deficit in beta cells will be key for developing therapies. This could involve either generating beta cells in vitro from stem cells for use in cell-based therapies or to foster the regeneration and expansion of endogenous beta cells. Our laboratory focuses on understand the molecular mechanisms that govern beta cell formation during embryogenesis as well as the expansion/regeneration of beta cell mass in adult and diabetes animal models. We specifically focus on how complex patterning information controlling fundamental cellular processes such as differentiation and proliferation of progenitor cell is integrated during the process of pancreatic organogenesis. Another interest of the laboratory is to understand how beta cell growth is regulated to compensate for the changing insulin demand. Strategies for tackling these complex problems include the generation and analysis of null mouse mutants, development of cell-type-specific inducible transgenic mice, and in vitro human islet cultures to study metabolic characteristics.
beta cell regeneration, cell cycle regulation, embryogenesis