Cafe Scientifique: To β or not to β: Cell identity in type 2 Diabetes

Tuesday 19th February 2019 3:00PM – 4:30PM
Location/Venue: Kennaway House Coburg Road EX10 8NG

Dr Nicky Jeffery, Post Doctoral Research Associate, University of Exeter, College of Medicine and Health

As Type 2 Diabetes progresses it is associated with a loss of the cells in the pancreas which secrete insulin when blood sugar rises after we eat a meal; these cells are called beta cells. Beta cells exist alongside other pancreatic cell types in structures called islets and all of these ‘islet cells’ are also important for balancing our blood sugar. Until recently it was believed that the loss of  beta cells that is seen in Type 2 Diabetes was due to the cells dying. However, we have found that although some of the beta cells die, a proportion of them appear to stop being beta cells and begin to look more like other islet cell types. More importantly, we have found that these changes in cell identity occur in response to cell stresses that arise from lifestyle choices. We are now beginning to understand the mechanism that is driving these changes and have also seen some evidence that they may be reversible.

This talk will look at how lifestyle impacts our insulin secreting beta cells and what might be driving these changes.”

This is a free event but please buy a drink to keep it so

Kennaway House, Coburg Road, Sidmouth, EX10 8NG