Research in the Sander group is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms that underlie the formation and function of insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas, which are affected in diabetes. Our laboratory aims to identify strategies for beta cell regeneration and replacement in order to develop novel treatments for diabetes.
To understand cellular processes leading to diabetes, we employ genetic human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC)-based and mouse models. We interrogate these models with massively parallel sequencing and bioinformatic approaches and use functional assays to link molecular phenotypes to cell function and whole body physiology.
Our research is multi-disciplinary and highly collaborative. As part of the NIH-funded Human Islet Research Network (HIRN) we are generating a 3D islet organoid on a Chip and as part of the NIH-funded T2D-GENES Consortium we are using hPSC models to establish how genetic risk for diabetes causes cellular phenotypes.