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Optimizing Differentiation to Stem Cell Beta Cells

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

Room: Riverfront


.2 Stem cell-derived islets: A promising solution for diabetes treatment

Jeffrey Millman, United States

Washington University School of Medicine


Dr. Jeffrey Millman is currently an Associate Professor of Medicine and Biomedical Engineering at Washington University School of Medicine. He received his Ph.D. from MIT and completed his postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Douglas Melton at Harvard University. His current research is focused on synergizing both biomedical engineering and cell biology approaches to use stem cells for the study and treatment of diabetes. He is developing new approaches for the differentiation of insulin-producing islets from stem cells and improving their utility for cell replacement therapy and in vitro disease models. His innovations have been licensed to several biotechnology and startup companies in the diabetes space and resulted in one ongoing clinical trial. His laboratory is supported by the NIH NIDDK and JDRF, and his scholarship has been recently recognized by awards from the JDRF, American Institute of Chemical Engineering, and the Biomedical Engineering Society.


Stem cell-derived islets: A promising solution for diabetes treatment

Jeffrey Millman1.

1Medicine and Biomedical Engineering, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, United States

The process of stem cell differentiation offers a sustainable means to produce functional cells and tissues, which can be used to address various diseases, such as diabetes, that arise from the malfunction or death of insulin-producing islets within the pancreas. Through our research, we have developed SC-islets, which exhibit glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, by manipulating both the actin cytoskeleton and signal transduction pathways during the differentiation process. Additionally, we have generated SC-islets from diabetic patients, corrected the mutations that cause diabetes, and implanted them into mice afflicted with severe diabetes, resulting in the restoration of normal blood sugar levels. This approach has demonstrated sustained efficacy for up to a year. Our ultimate objective is to utilize this technology to replace damaged islets in human patients, as well as to develop a superior disease model for drug discovery.

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