Beta Cell Genome Regulation

The Beta Cell Genome Regulation Lab focuses on genome regulatory mechanisms and their role in the causes and treatment of diabetes    

Pancreatic beta cells are central to the pathogenesis of major forms of diabetes. We study how genes are switched on or off during the development of the pancreas and in adult pancreatic insulin-producing beta cells and investigate how alterations in these processes contribute to human diabetes. We also try to manipulate regulatory pathways to correct specific forms of diabetes.

Our research is at the interface of several disciplines, including regulatory genomics, human genetics, islet biology and diabetes pathogenesis. To address our scientific questions, we carry out genomic modifications in cell-based systems and model organisms, and probe regulatory functions with genome-wide functional and computational approaches.

Much of our work is done in collaboration with other labs that have specific expertise in human genetics, systems biology, chemical screens, or Zebrafish genetics. We work in tight collaboration with partner lab members in Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS) in Barcelona. Our laboratory is funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC), the Wellcome Trust, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and the European Commission. The laboratory is led by Professor Jorge Ferrer – Head of the Section of Genetics and Genomics