Jan Jensen, Ph.D.
Brandon Endowed Chair in Diabetes Research
The “Chicago Diabetes Project” is truly a unique constellation of activities tying together some required elements for curing diabetes. We need to have investigators seeking to create new beta-cells – we also need to have other scientists investigate how to protect such cells, when they are transferred back into diabetic patients – which is not something done by a scientist, but by a skilled M.D, and also one that understands cell grafting technology. All that, and more, is covered by Chicago Diabetes Project activities. I think, we, as scientists, all realize that the ultimate success can only be achieved through teamwork. It is a rewarding environment to work in, and one that creates enthusiasm.”
Personally, the Chicago Diabetes Project, has helped my laboratory to engage in novel research that seeks to understand the guiding principles for pancreatic beta cells on a quite large scale. Although this research is done using mice as the model system, the knowledge is directly applicable to human cells. It is our hope that such knowledge may unlock the combinatorial code for generating proper, glucose-sensing, insulin-producing cells so that more patients may receive new beta-cells, essentially providing a cure for the disease.