About this Research Topic
Diabetes Mellitus compromises diverse etiologies, all characterized by the absence, loss, or dysfunction of pancreatic insulin-producing beta cells. In addition, other cell types with key metabolic functions, e.g. adipocytes and hepatocytes, play important roles in diabetes pathogenesis. While animal models have contributed significantly to our understanding of organogenesis and disease mechanisms, recent developments in human model systems have revealed critical differences between mice and humans, thus highlighting the need for expanding investigations in the human context.
Differentiation approaches of human pluripotent stem cells have provided a proxy for mimicking normal development and access to patient specific, functional human tissues. Using genome engineering in conjunction with stem cell technology has already spurred the creation of novel model systems, allowing detailed studies of patient specific genetic variants. Despite these recent advances, further acceleration of research using stem cell technology to model specific aspects of the disease and eventually to develop novel approaches to treat diabetes are needed.
This Research Topic welcomes reviews, mini-reviews, and perspective articles as well as original research describing work using state of the art stem cell approaches to address critical gaps in our current knowledge of human islet development and diabetes etiology. We are interested in studies that focus on identifying molecular and cellular disease mechanisms or describe novel aspects on the generation and/or characterization of specific cell types or model systems. In addition, we welcome manuscripts describing novel approaches and critical improvements to the therapeutic use of stem cell technologies for diabetes.
Keywords: human beta cells, iPSC, stem cells, directed differentiation, diabetes
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