NIH branch institute launches consortium for pancreatic research

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

As part of the Impact of Genomic Variation on Function Consortium, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine will receive $6.4 million in grant funding to study how external signals and genetic variations influence the behavior of insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas.

Picture of stem cell-derived pancreatic tissue.
Pictured above is stem cell-derived pancreatic tissue with insulin depicted in red and glucagon in green. Image courtesy of UC San Diego Health Sciences.

The university team will use their beta cell models to detail how external signals determine insulin output. The institute said 10 different stimuli that are known to modify insulin secretion -- including sugar, other nutrients, and food-dependent hormones -- will be examined to determine how the beta cell genome and insulin release change in response to those stimuli over various lengths of time.

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