1178A, Benedum Hall
Differentiation of embryonic stem cell (ESC) to insulin producing islet β-like-cell for transplantation is one way to circumvent the current issue with scarcity of cadaveric pancreatic islet for transplantation for type 1 diabetes without any complication that current pharmaceutical treatments have. ESCs go through several differentiation stages, which provide different microenvironment to the differentiating cells, in order to mature into β-cells. Stepwise differentiation of ESC to β-cell, which mimics signaling event at each stage of differentiation, is a commonly used strategy. However, efficient maturation of fully functional β-like-cell is not yet achieved in vitro. Therefore, revelation and application of other key signaling event, which is not used in current induction, to β-cell differentiation is crucial. My focus is investigation and manipulation of signaling events affecting maturation of the β-like-cell differentiated from human ESCs for better differentiation efficiency and functionality.