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 Current News Features

April 15, 2014

Bucks Entrepreneur's Raw Foods Flying off the Shelves

Linda Sarter, RD, MA, CDE, LDNThe Philadelphia Inquirer looks into a Bucks County raw food company, interviewing nutritionist Linda Sartor, RD, MA, CDE, LDN, of the Penn Rodebaugh Diabetes Center, who noted that "it's encouraging a greater consumption of vegetables." But a raw-foods diet is "a difficult lifestyle to maintain 100 percent" and not "necessarily the most economical."

>> Philadelphia Inquirer article

April 11, 2014

Penn Vet Researcher Unravels The Science of Obesity

Kendra Bence, PhDThough daily cheeseburgers and ice cream sundaes can help pave the way, the road to obesity begins in the brain, where metabolism is regulated by the activity of various hormones and signaling molecules.

With a new study, the School of Veterinary Medicine’s Kendra Bence, an associate professor of animal biology, has expanded our understanding of how obesity unfolds at the molecular level. Her team’s findings point to a potential target for therapies that may one day help people who are obese arrive at a healthier weight.

>> Read More

March 13, 2014

The JDRF Honor Dr. Ali Naji

The JDRF is honors Dr. Ali Naji for representing the scientific advances in diabetes care and research.

Learn More

March 18, 2014

Penn Scientists Reprogram Gut Cells to Produce Insulin

Gut CellsBen Stanger, MD, PhD, assistant professor of Medicine in the division of Gastroenterology, is quoted in a WHYY Newsworks article about a recent study from his lab describing how to make insulin-producing cells from gut cells. "Our hope would be that we can take patient-derived intestinal cells, reprogram them into cells that look and function close enough to beta cells that they could be used in the patient for treatment of diabetes," he said.

>> Penn Medicine News Release
>> WHYY Newsworks article

March 6, 2014

Cellular Alchemy: Penn Study Shows How to Make Insulin-Producing Cells from Gut Cells

Ben Stanger, PhDDestruction of insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas is at the heart of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. “We are looking for ways to make new beta cells for these patients to one day replace daily insulin injections,” says Ben Stanger, MD, PhD, assistant professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Transplanting islet cells to restore normal blood sugar levels in patients with severe type 1 diabetes is one approach to treating the disease, and using stem cells to create beta cells is another area of investigation. However, both of these strategies have limitations: transplantable islet cells are in short supply, and stem cell-based approaches have a long way to go before they reach the clinic. “It’s a powerful idea that if you have the right combination of transcription factors you can make any cell into any other cell. It’s cellular alchemy,” comments Stanger. New research from Stanger and postdoctoral fellow Yi-Ju Chen, PhD, reported in Cell Reports this month, describes how introducing three proteins that control the regulation of DNA in the nucleus -- called transcription factors -- into an immune-deficient mouse turned a specific group of cells in the gut lining into beta-like cells, raising the prospect of using differentiated pancreatic cells as a source for new beta cells.

>> Penn Medicine News Release