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Beta cell damage in Type 2

Project summary

Novel mechanisms of glucolipotoxic islet cell death

Dr Mark Turner will supervise this study of specific molecules that trigger beta cell damage or reduce insulin secretion in people with Type 2 diabetes. These molecules might inform the development of new therapies to control or prevent Type 2.

Background to research

Beta cells in the islets of the pancreas produce insulin that regulates blood glucose, but they malfunction or are destroyed in people with Type 2 diabetes. Beta cell damage has been linked to a long-term high-fat diet, but the mechanisms behind this process are poorly understood.

Research aims

It is possible that, by manipulating the signalling pathways that cause damage to beta cells, scientists may be able to preserve or restore their function and help millions of people with diabetes. Using islet cells in the lab, Dr Mark Turner’s PhD student will identify specific molecules and pathways that trigger beta cell damage or reduce insulin secretion in response to high levels of glucose and fat.

Potential benefit to people with diabetes

The researchers on this study hope to identify molecules that can provide a target for new therapies and inform the development of new types of drugs to help control or prevent diabetes.

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