Type 2 diabetes is a disease of genes and environment. My laboratory studies the epigenome of human pancreatic islets and their developmental precursor cells. One aim is to use the epigenome as a read-out of effects of type 2 diabetes genetic variants on islet gene expression programs and function. Emerging evidence suggests that normal or disease-predisposing conditions can actually alter a cell's epigenome and lead to abnormal cellular functions. To this end, my lab is investigating how the islet epigenome is altered under different stimulatory and stress conditions. Finally, we are pursuing targeted modification of cells’ epigenomes to facilitate production of bona fide pancreatic islet cells from pluripotent stem cells or other terminally differentiated cells.
2014 - American Diabetes Association Young Investigator Travel Grant Award
2013 - Genome Technology Young Investigators of the Year Award
2012 - Endocrine Society Early Investigator’s Workshop for Trainees
2011 - NIH Fellows Award for Research Excellence
2005 - Best Graduate Presentation, Johns Hopkins McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine Retreat
2002, 2003 - Honorable Mention, NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
2000 - William J. Fulbright Scholarship
2000 - National Institutes of Health Summer Research Fellowship
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