Assistant Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Pennsylvania
What is your presentation about?
Stem-cell-derived islets (SC-islets) could transform diabetes research and therapy, yet current methods generate functionally immature products. Entrainment to circadian feeding/fasting cycles triggers metabolic maturation of SC-islets by inducing cyclic synthesis of energy metabolism and insulin secretion effectors. Following entrainment, SC-islets gain persistent chromatin changes and rhythmic insulin responses with a raised glucose threshold, a hallmark of functional maturity, and function within days of transplantation.
What makes this topic important in 2022?
First-in-human clinical trials recently announced proof-of-principle data that transplanting human stem-cell derived islets can render a type 1 diabetic independent of exogenous insulin
How did you become involved with this area of diabetes research or care?
I have a long-standing interest in how gene control impacts cell fate during development and disease. My recent work has focused on mechanisms of cellular specialization, which led me to focus on the maturation of stem cell-derived islets for islet replacement therapy.
What are you most looking forward to at the 82nd Scientific Sessions?
Engaging in thoughtful scientific exchange with colleagues, and meeting trainees and potential recruits to my new independent laboratory.