Studies in diabetes pathogenesis
- Lysosome pathways on pancreatic beta cells: In published work, we have uncovered evidence for impaired autophagy in pancreatic beta cells in mouse models of diet-induced obesity (Liu et al, Autophagy, 2017); and intermittent fasting stimulates lysosomal pathways to rescue beta cell dysfunction and preserve beta cell mass. In ongoing work, we have performed RNA sequencing analyses from these islets, and have identified key mediators in beta cells and islet macrophages as likely drivers of lysosomal pathology. We have developed and acquired mouse models to target these mediators with a goal towards developing strategies to preserve beta cell mass. We are in process of obtaining funding for these studies.