Office: M20 - 4306D
Curruculum Vitae: Download (pdf)
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 and how its dysfunction causes diabetes.
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 close to 400 million people world-wide. The islet is a multi-cellular micro organ and we are examining 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 control cell-cell communication to improve the regulation of insulin and glucagon secretion to treat and cure diabetes, as well as to develop non-invasive diagnostics for diabetes.