About Professor Peter Thorn

The loss of control of insulin secretion is a causal factor in type 2 diabetes and many current treatments target the insulin secreting beta cells in an attempt to increase their secretory output. However, these treatments usually only temporarily restore blood glucose levels and new approaches are therefore needed. We are working on understanding how insulin secretion is regulated which could lead to new therapeutic targets and strategies to prevent the disease.

We have developed and refined a number of methods that are enabling us to image beta cells within the intact architecture of the islets that includes the complex capillary bed. We have evidence that insulin secretion from pancreatic beta cells is targeted towards the islet capillaries. Currently we are testing the idea that the beta cells may possess synaptic like mechanisms that regulate insulin secretion and the implications of this for our understanding of type 2 diabetes.

Peter joined the University of Sydney in 2015 and leads a team at the Charles Perkins Centre studying the regulation of insulin secretion in pancreatic beta cells. He has a track record of using innovative imaging methods to study cell behaviour and is applying these to the understanding of how insulin secretion is controlled within the native environment of the islets of Langerhans.

Selected publications

For a full list of Professor Thorn's publications please see his Sydney Medical School academic profile page: here