As cases of diabetes across the world increase, so does research into causes of and treatment for the disease.
Researching the complexities of diabetes requires access to a host of tissues from the human body. Muscle, liver, fat, heart—cells from all of these organs play a part. One organ in particular serves an important role in the onset and progression of diabetes and it happens to be one of the least easily accessible organs in the human body: the pancreas, which houses islets, which in turn hold the insulin-secreting beta cells that falter and fail over the course of diabetes.
But an influx of researchers is stretching the already strained supply of islet cells available. Rohit Kulkarni, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Investigator in the Section on Islet Cell and Regenerative Biology at Joslin Diabetes Center and Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School, is working with researchers to lobby the government for more resources and support.
“Obtaining human islets for research in diabetes is an important component that will allow investigators to gain critical insights into how insulin-producing cells work,” said Dr. Kulkarni. “These experiments are of high significance in the overall goal of developing therapeutic approaches to successfully replace and/or regenerate insulin-producing cells in all forms of human diabetes.” Continue reading –>