Feyza Engin, PHD
Position title: Associate Professor, Biomolecular Chemistry
- Organ System/Disease Focus
- Beta cells, type 1 diabetes
- Aligned Research Focus
- Cell differentiation, regeneration
Our lab focuses on understanding how stress responses alter the beta cell function and differentiation. We discovered that endoplasmic reticulum stress and the defective unfolded protein response are the key components of the type 1 diabetes (T1D) and mitigation of this stress via a chemical chaperone prevents T1D in mouse models. Indeed, this chemical chaperone now in a phase I clinical trial for prevention of T1D in human patients. Cellular stress can also affect the mature identity of the beta cells and lead to their dedifferentiation. Thus, demonstrating the relationship between stress, stress responses, and beta cell differentiation and function using cellular and genetic models can provide better understanding of the disease pathology and pave the way for the development of novel therapeutic targets .