Photo of Jenny Bruin

Jenny Bruin

Assistant Professor

Degrees:B.Sc. (Guelph), Ph.D. (McMaster)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 3656
Office:244 Nesbitt Building

Current Research

My lab is primarily interested in studying the pathogenesis of diabetes, with a focus on insulin-secreting beta cells, which are located in clusters of endocrine cells within the pancreas called ‘islets’.  We are particularly interested in investigating how environmental factors (including exposure to pharmaceuticals, environmental toxicants and disease states) impact the endocrine pancreas, as well as the influence of gene-environment interactions on beta cell susceptibility and diabetes.

The lab uses a diverse range of complementary tools and approaches.  Our in vivo work includes a strong foundation in traditional animal models of diabetes (type 1 and type 2), unique transgenic and gene knockout animal models, and islet transplantation techniques.  Our in vitro approaches include differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells into pancreas lineage cells (a unique tool for modeling human pancreas development), primary culture of isolated pancreatic islets, and tissue culture of immortalized cell lines.

We are currently recruiting highly motivated undergraduate and graduate students (MSc and PhD) to join the lab.  Current projects include investigating the role of xenobiotic metabolism enzymes in pancreatic islets, and screening for environmental toxicants that impact adult beta cell function and survival, as well as critical windows of beta cell development.

Selected Publications

Bruin JE*, Saber N*, Fox JK, Mojibian M, Arora P, Rezania A, Kieffer TJ. Hypothyroidism impairs human stem cell-derived pancreatic progenitor cell maturation in mice. Diabetes. 65 (5): 1297-1309 (2016). *Authors contributed equally.

Bruin JE, Rezania A, Kieffer TJ. Replacing and safeguarding pancreatic beta cells for diabetes. Science Translational Medicine. 7(316):316ps23 (2015).

Bruin JE, Saber N, Braun N, Fox JK, Mojibian M, Asadi A, Drohan C, O’Dwyer S, Rosman-Balzer DS, Swiss VA, Rezania A, Kieffer TJ. Treating diet-induced diabetes and obesity with human embryonic stem cell-derived pancreatic progenitor cells and antidiabetic drugs. Stem Cell Reports. 4(4):605-620 (2015).

Rezania A, Bruin JE , Arora P, Rubin A, Batushansky I, Asadi A, O’Dwyer S, Quiskamp N, Mojibian M, Albrecht T, Yang YH, Johnson JD, Kieffer TJ. Reversal of diabetes with insulin-producing cells derived in vitro from human pluripotent stem cells. Nature Biotechnology. 32:1121-1133 (2014).

Rezania A*, Bruin JE*,  Riedel MJ, Mojibian M, Asadi A, Xu J, Gauvin R, Narayan K, Karanu F, O’Neil JJ, Ao Z, Warnock GL, Kieffer TJ. Maturation of human embryonic stem cell-derived pancreatic progenitors into functional islets in diabetic mice. Diabetes.  61(8):2016-29 (2012). * Authors contributed equally

Full list of publications