Carleton’s Jenny Bruin is part of a team of researchers that has been awarded a 5-year, $3 million grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and JDRF Canada to develop a novel therapy that transplants insulin-secreting cells derived from stem cells into patients with Type 1 diabetes.
“We want to replace them with beta cells derived from pluripotent stem cells. Right now, we can take stem cells part way down the path to becoming beta cells in vitro. When we transplant these cells into mice, the final stages of maturation occur in the mouse over a period of several months. It works really well, but it is kind of like a black box – we don’t know what is happening in the time after the cells are transplanted, but before they start producing insulin and responding to glucose.”