Prof. Michael Walker
Pancreatic beta cells are the only cell type capable of producing the key metabolic hormone insulin: their function is essential for normal metabolic balance, and their dysfunction is central to the development of both major forms of diabetes.
In our research, we focus on the following aspects of beta cell function:
1. The transcriptional mechanisms underlying the normal embryonic development of beta cells and the functioning of mature beta cells
2. Manipulating pancreatic cellular identity: molecular mechanisms controlling exocrine to endocrine cell reprogramming
3. Dissecting the signaling mechanism that permit beta cells to respond to modulators of insulin secretion, in particular long chain and short chain fatty acids