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TU Dresden

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β-cell biology and regeneration - Previous and current research

The goal of our group is to identify new signaling pathways and drugs that enhance endogenous beta-cell regeneration. Using a set of novel transgenic reporter zebrafish lines, which monitor beta-cell proliferation in the living animal, we have performed the first in vivo high-content chemical screen for inducers of beta-cell proliferation, which identified FDA-approved drugs and natural products that expand beta-cell mass.  We are currently validating these compounds using mouse and human beta-cells in vitro in order to elucidate their mechanisms of action with the goal of developing novel effective pharmaceuticals for beta-cell regeneration.  Our group also utilizes zebrafish models of diabetes and cell lineage tracing techniques to uncover the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie beta-cell regeneration following near-complete beta-cell destruction.  Our long-term goal is to validate our discoveries in mammalian beta-cells through collaborations with the diabetes groups at CRTD and the Paul Langerhans Institute in Dresden.

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