Islet Biology and Metabolism Research Group

Fighting the global epidemic of diabetes

Our research group is exploring how pancreatic beta-cells work in the management of insulin, with the view to using these findings for the prevention or treatment of type-2 diabetes.

Our group’s major interest is to understand the molecular mechanisms that are relevant to the formation, storage and secretion of insulin secretory granules in pancreatic beta-cells and the mechanisms of islet β-cell failure in these processes in the pathogenesis of obesity-associated type 2 diabetes.

We are working on understanding how insulin is stored and released in the pancreas through beta-cells. An stronger grasp of these molecular mechanisms – and knowing how and why beta-cells fail – will help us work towards managing blood glucose spikes in people with type-2 diabetes.

Our diverse team is comprised of expertise including cell biology, animal physiology, mouse genetics, immunofluorescence microscopy, metabolic studies in mouse, isolation of islets from the mouse and in vitro analysis of insulin secretion.

By understanding the mechanism of pancreatic beta-cell function and failure, the real world impact of our research will be in describing ways to prevent or treat the progression of beta-cell failure and type-2-diabetes.

  1. Understanding the process of insulin granule formation and maturation in pancreatic beta-cells.
  2. Understanding the process of intracellular degradation of insulin in pancreatic beta-cells.
  3. Understanding the role of a single nucleotide polymorphism in the Sorcs1 protein associated with obesity induced type 2 diabetes.

Research group leader

Dr Melkam Kebede
Dr Melkam Kebede
“The several diabetic patients who I met through some of my community works inspire me. Their questions and encouragements are my constant source of inspiration to continue waging war on diabetes. They remind me the real world impact of what we do here.”
View Melkam Kebede's profile