Grant recipient

Diego Balboa

Unravelling genome regulatory mechanisms of human pancreas development to improve stem cell-derived islets
Grant amount: DKK 9,981,878

Diabetes is an alarming global health problem that requires innovative therapeutic solutions. Current treatments fall short, as they do not resolve the primary disease mechanisms behind impaired insulin secretion. Recent advances in stem cell technology make possible the generation of insulin-secreting cells in the lab. However, these stem cell-derived cells are immature due to our limited understanding of how they fully develop naturally. The aim of this project is to gain insights into the mechanisms that orchestrate islet cell maturation by combining data generated with state-of-the-art technologies, including stem cell models, single-cell analytics and editing of the genetic code. This novel information will help us to test how to improve the generation of stem cell-derived insulin-secreting cells for therapy and disease modeling, translating into better diagnostic and treatment tools for diabetes.

Diego Balboa
University of Helsinki