A recipe for a biological insulin pump, an interview with postdoc Nina Funa – University of Copenhagen

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23 November 2017

A recipe for a biological insulin pump, an interview with postdoc Nina Funa

interview

Postdoc Nina Funa from the Serup group was interviewed by JDRF about her 3-year advanced postdoctoral fellowship project: “Identification of signaling pathways controlling expansion of human pancreatic progenitor cells”.

Postdoc Nina Funa from the Serup group at DanStem has received a 3-year advanced postdoctoral fellowship from JDRF for her project “Identification of signaling pathways controlling expansion of human pancreatic progenitor cells”.

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Nina Funa, Ph.D., University of Copenhagen, is seeking the right steps and ingredients to make the best insulin-producing cells

We’ve seen the development of the first protocols to turn immature cells into insulin producers, opening the door to making cell therapies and all their benefits available to many more people with T1D. But we haven’t perfected the recipe yet. As Dr. Funa points out, “Although the last decade has presented remarkable progress in generating cells that resemble close-to-mature insulin-producing cells in a dish, the sequence and dynamic interplay of the cocktail of factors we add to cultivate these cells remains largely unexplored.” As a result, the current protocols are time-consuming and low-yield, and the final products often vary in composition and include unwanted (non-insulin-producing) cell types. Dr. Funa will use multi-color signaling reporters to exploit how the signaling cues that regulate differentiation and cellular expansion during narrow windows of hPCS progression to beta cells communicate. This information will ultimately refine the recipe, which will speed and simplify the procedure and make the end product more consistent and usable.

Read the full interview here: http://www.jdrf.org/blog/2017/11/22/recipe-biological-insulin-pump/