SciLifeLab The Svedberg seminar series 2014-04-07


Raphael Scharfmann

INSERM U1016 Cochin Institute, Paris, France

Raphael Scharfmann is Research Director at INSERM within the Growth and Signaling Center at University Paris Descartes. The major objective of his group is to define signals regulating beta cell development. Raphael Scharfmann also founded EndoCells a biotech company aiming at generating human endocrine cell lines, and his lab collaborates with EndoCells to develop human beta cell lines.

Pancreatic development: From Rodent to Human

Pancreatic beta cells develop from endodermal pancreatic progenitors that first proliferate and next differentiate into functional insulin-producing cells. This developmental process is complex, each step being controlled by yet unknown signals. Theoretically, the development of a functional beta cell mass can be enhanced by: i) activating the proliferation of pancreatic progenitors; ii) activating their differentiation into beta cells; iii) activating the proliferation of beta cells themselves.

During the past years, we first developed bioassays based on rodent models to search for signals that control specific steps of beta cell development. With such bioassays, we screened and characterized a number of signals that regulate pancreatic progenitor cell proliferation and differentiation. We also developed models of human pancreatic development, to transfer to human, data generated in rodent models. Such models were instrumental for the development of functional human beta cell of lines first and second generations.

Such an approach, that aims at better dissecting signals regulating functional beta cell mass in rodent and human will be presented.

Host: My Hedhammar