Profiles of BBDC Members Primarily Involved In Diabetes Research

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Mueller, Daniel - MD, PhD

University of Toronto Appointment(s): Associate Profressor, Deapartment of Psychiatry

Other Appointment(s): Head, Pharmacogenetics Research Clinic, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Contact Information:
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
250 College St., R132
Toronto, ON   M5T 1R8

Phone: (416) 535-8501
Fax: (416) 979-4666

Diabetes Related Research Activities:

The overarching goal of my research is to improve psychiatric drug treatment by implementation of personalized medicine using genetic information.

One major focus of my research is to study the genetics of antipsychotic-induced weight gain (AIWG). AIWG frequently leads to obesity and secondary conditions such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension and cardiovascular events. Our research has revealed significant associations between AIWG and polymorphisms of the Cannabinoid-1-receptor (Twari et al., 2010) gene, the melanocortin-4-receptor gene (Chowdhury et al., 2013), the Neurpeptide-Y gene (Tiwari et al., 2013) and mitochondrial genes (Goncalves et al., 2014). We are currently developing an algorithm that will incorporate these genes along with clinical and demographic risk factors which will result in a genetic risk model for clinical application. Such algorithm will help to identify patients at higher risk for AIWG and diabetes, in order to select a medication panel with low risk. In addition, high risk patients will receive frequent monitoring and encouraged to enroll in diet and excercise programs.

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Nagy, Andras - PhD

University of Toronto Appointment(s): Professor, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology and Institute of Medical Sciences

Other Appointment(s): Senior Investigator, Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute
Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Stem Cells and Regeneration

Contact Information:
Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute
60 Murray Street, Box 40
Toronto, ON   M5T 3L9

Phone: Office: (416) 586-4800 Ext. 5361 Lab: (416) 586-8455
Fax: (416) 586-5130

Diabetes Related Research Activities:

Somatic cell reprogramming to induced pluripotent stem cells requires the expression of 2-4 key transcription factors. We have demonstrated that the piggyBac transposon-based transgene delivery system combined with tetracycline inducible gene expression can be used to reprogram cells with a comparably high efficiency to viral transduction, both from mouse and human somatic cells. Unique properties of our transposon-based system form the foundation for exploring the plasticity of the ß-cell. Using a transgenic reprogrammable mouse line, we are exploring the possibility expanding, differentiating and trans-differentiating cells of the pancreatic lineage in a whole organism context and ex vivo. T his research aims to take a giant leap forward in the understanding of the cellular plasticity of ß-cells and the development of novel tools for bringing efficient cell-based therapies to the future of medicine.

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Nathan, Paul C. - MD, MSc

University of Toronto Appointment(s): Associate Professor, Department of Paediatrics, Division of Haematology/Oncology

Other Appointment(s): Associate Scientist, Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute

Contact Information:
The Hospital for Sick Children
555 University Avenue
Toronto, ON   M5G 1X8

Phone: (416) 813-8795
Fax: (416) 813-5327

Diabetes Related Research Activities:

Dr. Nathan's research focuses on long-term outcomes in survivors of childhood cancer. His interests include obesity and other metabolic sequelae of cancer treatment, as well as cardiac outcomes in children treated with cardiotoxic chemotherapy or radiation. In addition, he is interested in health care utilization and screening/surveillance late effects in adult survivors of childhood cancer.

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Ng, Dominic S. - PhD, MD, FRCPC

University of Toronto Appointment(s): AssociateProfessor, Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism; Department of Physiology and Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology

Other Appointment(s): Scientist, Keenan Research Center, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St Michael's Hospital

Contact Information:
St. Michael's Hospital
30 Bond Street, Shuter Wing, 3rd Floor, Room 3-041
Toronto, ON   M5B 1W8

Phone: (416) 864-5197
Fax: (416) 864-5584

Diabetes Related Research Activities:

My research lab is primarily interested in the area of genetics of lipid disorders and cardio-metabolic disorders with special emphasis on high density lipoprotein (HDL) metabolism. We use transgenic/knock out mice as models and our tools include in vivo experiments, ex vivo and in vitro assays at tissue, cellular, and molecular levels. We are particularly interested in using in vivo mouse models to examine the impact of specific genetic-based dyslipidemic states on atherogenesis, diabetogenesis and more recently, obesity and brown fat development. Detailed analyses of these animal models using cellular, molecular and genetic markers will also be carried out to elucidate the underlying mechanism of such disease processes and their interactions. Such genetic models are also used to study the effects of dietary and drug interventions.

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Nostro, Maria Cristina - PhD

University of Toronto Appointment(s): Assistant Professor, Department of Physiology

Other Appointment(s): Harry Rosen Chair in Diabetes and Regenerative Medicine Research, McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine
Scientist, Division of Experimental Therapeutics, Toronto General Research Institute, UHN

Contact Information:
MaRS Centre, Room 3-918
101 College St
Toronto, ON   M5G 1L7

Phone: (416) 581-7595
Fax: (416) 581-7606

Diabetes Related Research Activities:

- Generation of pancreatic beta cells from human pluripotent stem cells
- Cell therapy for type I diabetes
- Modeling lineage commitment and human development in vitro
- Using human pluripotent stem cell-derived pancreatic cells as a platform for drug screening

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