The goal of our group is to explore new strategies triggered at enhancing the β-cell mass in diabetic conditions. We also plan to comprehensively characterize and compare the cellular processes as well as the gene-environment interactions occurring in monogenic diabetes disorders, with emphasis on identifying a general, age-related, mechanism of disease onset.
Based on extensive experience with mouse genetics, cell fate characterization and age-related molecular mechanisms, our group aims to: (1) characterize β-cell failure in several MODY types; (2) establish the role of the pancreatic niche during diabetes onset and progression; (3) examine the influence of age and aging on β-cell failure; (4) reverse the molecular age-switch controlling the homeostatic gradual impairment and proliferation quiescence in β-cells; (5) characterize the cellular mechanisms underlying the natural and gradual decay of iPSC-derived β-cells from MODY patients.
The lab is funded by a generous starting grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation, The Research Council of Norway and is based in the KG Jebsen center for Diabetes Research, Department of Clinical Science, University of Bergen, Norway.
Want to join the lab? Master and PhD student candidates interested in diabetes, islet cell plasticity and aging are encouraged to contact Simona Chera (simona.chera [at] uib.no).