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Optimizing Differentiation to Stem Cell Beta Cells

Monday April 24, 2023 - 10:00 to 11:15

Room: Riverfront


.4 Building a better islet: Control of endocrine cell fate decisions in culture

Quinn Peterson, United States

Assistant Professor of Physiology
Center for Regenerative Biotherapeutics
Mayo Clinic


Quinn P. Peterson, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of physiology in the Department of Physiology and Biomedical Engineering with a joint appointment in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism, and Nutrition, Department of Internal Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. Peterson joined the staff of Mayo Clinic in 2017 after completing postdoctoral training at Harvard University with Professor Douglas Melton. Dr. Peterson earned his B.S. in biochemistry at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and his Ph.D. at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Peterson’s research program, conducted through the Islet Regeneration Program in the Center for Regenerative Biotherapeutics, aims to build human islets as a cell replacement therapy for type 1 diabetes. His research includes advances in the development of directed differentiation protocols to convert pluripotent stem cells into beta, alpha, and delta cells and elucidating mechanisms that govern islet composition and function.


Building a better islet: Control of endocrine cell fate decisions in culture

Quinn Peterson1.

1Center for Regenerative Biotherapeutics, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, United States

Recent advancements in stem cell-derived islet products have shown promising potential for cell replacement therapies in treating type 1 diabetes. However, controlling endocrine differentiation, particularly in relation to alpha and delta cells, remains a challenge. In this talk, we will discuss our work in developing protocols for the directed differentiation of human pancreatic alpha and delta cells from pluripotent cell sources through the use of drug screening approaches. The resulting cell populations have demonstrated the ability to mimic many aspects of alpha and delta cell biology, offering a unique human source of these endocrine cell types. These stepwise protocols have also effectively replicated many aspects of pancreatic developmental biology, while also highlighting novel differentiation programs leading to the development of endocrine cell types. Proper production and paracrine signaling between these endocrine cells are critical for the optimal function of engineered islet products and will be instrumental in the future of cell replacement therapies. Ultimately, we hope to provide insights into the innovative techniques used to control endocrine differentiation and the potential applications of these protocols for developing more effective islet replacement therapies for diabetes patients.

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