Photo of Jenny Bruin

Jenny Bruin

Associate Professor

Degrees:B.Sc. (Guelph), Ph.D. (McMaster)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 3656
Office:224 Nesbitt Building
Lab: 220A Nesbitt Building
Website:The Bruin Lab

Current Research

The Bruin lab studies the pathogenesis of diabetes, with a focus on insulin-secreting beta cells, which are located in endocrine cell clusters within the pancreas called ‘islets’.  We are particularly interested in how environmental factors impact the endocrine pancreas during fetal development and during adult periods of metabolic stress.

Our research uses a diverse range of complementary tools and approaches.  Our in vivo work includes mouse models of diabetes (type 1 and type 2), transgenic and gene knockout mouse 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

Matteo G*Hoyeck M*Blair HRick KRC, Williams A, Buick JK, Gagné R, Yauk CL, Bruin JE. Chronic low-dose dioxin exposure accelerates high fat diet-induced hyperglycemia in female mice. Endocrinology, 162(6):1-18 (2021). 

MacFarlane EMBruin JE. Human pluripotent stem cells: a unique tool for toxicity testing in pancreatic progenitor and endocrine cells. Frontiers in Endocrinology (special edition “Advances in Stem Cell Technology to Model and Treat Diabetes”)Jan 19;11:604998 (2021).

Hoyeck MMerhi RBlair HL, Spencer CD, Payant MA, Alfonso DIM, Zhang MMatteo G, Chee MJ, Bruin JE. Female mice exposed to low doses of dioxin during pregnancy and lactation have increased susceptibility to diet-induced obesity and diabetes.Molecular Metabolism. Dec;42:101104 (2020).

Ibrahim MMacFarlane EMMatteo GHoyeck MPRick KRCFarokhi SCopley CM, O’Dwyer S, Bruin JE. Functional cytochrome P450 1A enzymes are induced in mouse and human islets following pollutant exposure. Diabetologia. 63(1):162-178 (2020). [Full Text]

Hoyeck MP, Blair H, Ibrahim M, Solanki S, Elsawy M, Prakash A, Rick KRC, Matteo G, O’Dwyer S, Bruin JE. Long-term metabolic consequences of acute dioxin exposure differ between male and female mice. Scientific Reports. 10(1):1448 (2020). [Full Text]

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).

Full list of publications