Wenyu Gou, PhD
Islet transplantation is an ideal treatment to cure diabetes and total pancreatectomy with auto-islet transplantation patients. Most islet cells die immediately post transplantation due to hypoxia and innate inflammatory responses. By preventing the islet cell death after transplantation, the patient will have more chance to get insulin-free. Even though taking exogenous insulin can help to control the blood glucose level, the metabolic disorder still can’t improve. My current research is studying the mechanism of clinical therapies and islet cell biology.
Staff Scientist I
Hua Wei, PhD
The generation of insulin-producing pancreatic β-cells and islet organoids from pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) promises to provide cell sources for diabetes cell replacement therapy. Human PSCs can be induced into glucose-responsive insulin-secreting cells in vitro and transplantation of these cells ameliorates hyperglycemia in diabetic mice. However, the glucose-stimulated insulin-secreting capacity of most cells is still low compared with endogenous islets, therefore suggesting the need to improve induction procedures and cell maturation. The investigation of β-cells formation contributes to the improvement of their proper growth and functioning. My projects focus on the molecular basis of β-cell development and maturation by generating fibroblast or peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC)-derived human induced PSCs (hiPSCs) with a reporter protein and differentiation of hiPSCs into pancreatic β-cells. We are currently trying to identify the role of metabolism shift and the relative molecules in the earliest stage of differentiation.
Research Specialist II
Erica Green, PhD
34.2 million people in the United States have diabetes, with 7.3 million people being undiagnosed! It accounts for more that 300 billion dollars of medical cost. It is clear that diabetes has increasingly become a worldwide health problem, causing a huge burden on the healthcare system and economy. The recent progress in regenerative medicine, especially stem cell therapy, has suggested several novel and potential cures for diabetes, such as the use of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells which have the ability to exhibit the morphology, growth, marker expression, and pluripotency of embryonic cells. For this project we have chosen human Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells to reprogram. The goal of this project is for iPSC to differentiate into Pancreatic β-Cells and investigate the potential mechanism of diabetes in cells and our mouse model.
Sara Shoeibi, PhD
Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and the advancing genome editing tools appear to be a potent combination to study molecular mechanisms underlying diabetes and metabolic syndromes. iPSCs-derived islet cells provide cell sources for diabetes cell replacement therapy that can induce glucose-responsive insulin-secreting cells in vitro. Moreover, most genes are involved in susceptibility to diabetes are also associated with regulating the growth and function of β-cells during embryonic periods. Glucose-regulated protein (GRP94) is one of the most abundant proteins in pancreatic islets and the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) lumen. It regulates ER quality by chaperoning the folding of proteins and their interactions with other components as well as participating in ER-associated degradation for targeting of misfolded proteins. Our current research studies the GRP94 role in hiPSC-derived β-cells in pancreatic β-cell development and function.
Ahmed Lotfy, PhD
Dr. Lotfy is passionate about stem cell research and its therapeutic applications in regenerative medicine; he has over 30 international publications in this field. He had his Ph.D. in stem cell research between Zagazig University, Egypt, and the University of Leeds, UK. He had postdoctoral fellowships at Wolfson Centre for Stem Cells, Tissue Engineering and Modelling (STEM), the University of Nottingham, UK, and Nagoya City University, Japan, and Beni-Suef University, Egypt. Dr. Lotfy served as editor and reviewer for many journals such as Frontiers in cell and developmental biology, Stem cell research & therapy, Cytotechnology, Human Cell, BioMed Research International, and the FASEB journal.
Dr. Lotfy was honored to join Wang Lab in 2022, his current project concerning the stem cell therapeutic approaches for type 1 diabetes (T1D), especially the use of overexpressed alpha-1 antitrypsin mesenchymal stromal cells (AAT-MSCs) against nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice as an animal model of T1D and studying their mechanism of action.
Rebecca Chow, PhD
Lindsay Swaby, Graduate Student
Jingjing Wang, PhD
Do-Sung Kim, PhD
Lili Song, Graduate Student
Yong Zhang, PhD
Huansheng Dong, PhD
Michael Swaby, PhD Student