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1. Pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is an almost always fatal disease. Recent studies have suggested that it takes about 17 years from the time of tumor initiation to the patient’s death. This timeline offers opportunities for early detection and intervention. Our goal is to better understand the role of macrophages and a subset of progenitor-like cells in transforming noninvasive precursor lesions to invasive ductal adenocarcinomas.

2.  Pancreatic Regeneration.

Type 1 diabetes is a syndrome defined by high blood glucose levels caused by reduction in the number of insulin-producing β-cells; thus, a cure for diabetes will be achieved through replacement of β-cells. In the adult pancreas there is a correlation between the extent of the tissue damage and the nature of the regenerative response. The experimental model developed in our lab will allow us to study the dynamics of the adult pancreas in response to injury, and thus enable us to better understand the cellular mechanisms behind pancreatic regeneration in general, and β-cells in particular. A potential cure for type 1 diabetes will require the replacement of the β-cells that are destroyed in the initial phase of the disease, along with the prevention of destruction of the newly formed β-cells.