Barak Blum

Cell & Regenerative Biology Department

Functional beta cell maturation

bblum4@wisc.edu

(608) 265-5211

4551 Wi Institute Medical Research
1111 Highland Ave
Madison, WI 53705

Headshot

lab website:

https://crb.wisc.edu/staff/blum-barak/

focus groups:

Developmental Biology & Regenerative Medicine; Cellular & Molecular Metabolism

research description:

The research in my lab aims at understanding the molecular regulation of terminal differentiation of stem/progenitor cells, with focus on pancreatic beta cells, and to understand the role of the islet of Langerhans as a mini organ in controlling functional beta-­‐cell maturation. We use both mouse models and human pluripotent stem cell differentiation to identify genetic and molecular regulatory nodes important for the functionally mature cell state, which is determined by characteristic gene expression, and by the correct secretion of insulin to physiologically relevant levels of glucose. We use genetic engineering to manipulate gene regulatory networks and reintroduce diabetes-­‐susceptibility alleles into the cells and the mice, and study the role of the affected pathways in beta cell maturation and the development of diabetes.

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