Islet/Stem Cell Biology

BBDC islet/stem cell researchers from a range of disciplines study the role of the pancreatic islet cell, the dysfunction of which is a key cause of type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus and the restoration of which is a target for treatment. There are dynamic collaborations amongst UHN scientists, including with scientists from the McEwen Stem Cell Institute, to accelerate research into the prevention and treatment of this condition. Researchers are uncovering molecular and physiological determinants of type 1 and type 2 diabetes and accelerating the establishment of an unlimited source of insulin-producing pancreatic cells from stem cells that can hopefully in the future be rapidly moved to the clinic to treat diabetes.

Human Islet Cell Isolation Facility

The University Health Network received over $3 million of funding to establish a dedicated Human Islet Cell Isolation Facility. The facility is now operational at the University Health Network (UHN) and is located on the 4th floor of the Max Bell Research Centre adjacent to the McEwen Stem Cell Institute Human Development and Disease Facility and Program. The Islet Isolation facility is managed by the Soham and Shaila Ajmera Family Transplant Centre at UHN, providing researchers with quality control tested human islet cells. The facility can also assist with specialized assays to assess islet and stem-cell-derived islet cell function.

For details about islet availability notifications and billing requirements contact:
Justin Manuel
Islet Disbursement Coordinator

For more information or letters of support for upcoming grants contact:
Dr. Michael Wheeler
Tel: (416) 978-6737

(Cell Photos: Larger photo courtesy of G. Keller, C.L. Basford, and M.B. Wheeler, Toronto General Research Institute. Smaller photo courtesy of G. Keller and M.C. Nostro, McEwen Stem Cell Institute, University Health Network)