Joslin Diabetes Center launches research section on developmental and stem cell biology

BOSTON -- Joslin Diabetes Center, the global leader in diabetes research, care and education, today announced that it has established a new Section on Developmental and Stem Cell Biology. Research in this field has been ongoing at Joslin for a number of years, particularly in identifying ways to get adult pancreatic cells to grow and produce insulin. The new section will complement Joslin's existing strengths in immunology and islet transplantation research by focusing its research on the potential of developmental biology and stem cells to prevent, halt, and treat diabetes, and its complications.

Joslin also announced that it has recruited two top cell biologists, T. Keith Blackwell, M.D., Ph.D., and Amy Wagers, Ph.D., for the new section, joining long-time Joslin researcher Mary Loeken, Ph.D., who has transferred into the section.

"We're committed to moving stem cell research forward by bringing together top researchers in the field. Drs. Blackwell, Wagers and Loeken are all exceptional and talented scientists. Their combined research can help the Joslin research community continue to lead the way in the important area of stem cell research," says Joslin President C. Ronald Kahn, M.D. "The potential benefits of stem cells on type 1 diabetes make it vital to focus efforts with a new section."

Potential Benefits of Stem Cells

Many scientists believe that stem cell research holds tremendous promise for treating a variety of diseases, including diabetes. There are two basic types of stem cells: those that can multiply to make more copies of themselves ("self-renewing") and give rise to any type of cell in the body, and those that are self-renewing but are capable of yielding only a subset of cell types. Embryonic stem cells, derived from immature cells of the embryo, have the potential to give rise to any type of cell in the body including the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. The viability of islet cell transpla

Contact: Marjorie Dwyer
Joslin Diabetes Center

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