Can people with type 1 grow new beta cells? – COMPLETED

Neil Hanley
Neil Hanley

Scientific title: Deciphering the epigenome of human beta cells during development and in pathology for novel regenerative strategies in diabetes
Principal Investigators: Professors Neil Hanley and Benjamin Glaser
Institutions: University of Manchester and Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center
Project duration: 10/03/2015 – 09/03/2018

Objective: Giving people back their own insulin-producing beta cells is a key part of our strategy to cure type 1 diabetes. Paired with a way to stop the immune system attacking these cells, it would allow a person with type 1 to produce their own insulin again.

Benjamin Glaser
Benjamin Glaser

One way to do this is to encourage the body to regrow its own cells. This is the focus of this project, and it takes a lead from points in the body’s development when beta cells grow naturally: during foetal development, which is Professor Hanley’s area of expertise, and in a condition called congenital hyperinsulinism, which is Professor Glaser’s.

The two researchers will work together to work out what sets these periods of beta cell growth apart, to see if we can replicate the effect to spur beta cell growth in people with type 1.

This project is one of two BIRAX (Britain Israel Research and Academic Exchange Partnership) grants, jointly funded by JDRF and the British Council. Read about the other here.

Categories: Cure, Partnership, Regeneration