New Steps Forward in Understanding Genetics Behind MODY

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Rohit N. Kulkarni, M.D., Ph.D., is Principal Investigator in the Section on Islet Cell & Regenerative Biology at Joslin Diabetes Center and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Joslin scientists report the first generation of human induced pluripotent stem cells from patients with an uncommon form of diabetes, maturity onset diabetes of the young (MODY). These cells offer a powerful resource for studying the role of genetic factors in the development of MODY and testing potential treatments. The findings appear in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) are adult cells that have been genetically reprogrammed to exhibit the characteristics of embryonic stem cells, including the ability to differentiate into specialized cell types. The generation of hiPSCs, which was first reported in 2006, was a major scientific breakthrough with the potential to increase understanding of many diseases and aid in drug development.

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