Office: M20 - 4306D
Optical microscopy; Pancreatic islet biology and biophysics; Diabetes
My research interests are to develop and apply quantitative fluorescence microscopy approaches and predictive mathematical modeling to understand how the islet of Langerhans functions.
A predictive and quantitative model is a key component in the development of any systems biology approach; to link complex data as well as to generate new hypotheses by making quantitative predictions of future experiments. We develop advanced microscopy techniques and apply these to generate quantitative data about a biological system. These data can be used to test and refine current mathematical models of the biological system, and then generate new quantitative hypotheses that can be tested.
The biological system we are studying is the islet of Langerhans. Cellular destruction or defects in hormone secretion in the islet underlie the development of diabetes: a disease afflicting over 200 million people world-wide. The islet is a multi-cellular micro organ and we are focusing on how communication between cells in the islet enhances the regulation of insulin and glucagon secretion to maintain glucose homeostasis. The overall goal is to be able to manipulate cell-cell communication to improve the regulation of insulin and glucagon secretion and to optimize islet transplantation approaches to treat and cure diabetes.