The main focus of the Sussel lab is to understand the complex transcriptional networks that regulate development, differentiation and function of the pancreas. Our early studies led to the ground-breaking discovery that a ghrelin-producing “epsilon” cell population normally resides in the fetal islet, and that a close lineage relationship exists between the islet beta and epsilon cell populations. We went on to identify several novel regulatory pathways that are essential for islet lineage specification, normal pancreas development and the maintenance of beta cell maturation. More recently our research is addressing issues relating to the regulation of alpha and beta cell identity and function with a specific focus on transcription factors and long non-coding RNAs. At the Barbara Davis Center we are part of an outstanding team of scientists and clinicians dedicated to finding treatments and cures for Type 1 diabetes. In this rich research environment, my lab will continue to explore novel transcriptional regulatory mechanisms that will promote islet cell development survival and function in normal and pathophysiological conditions such as diabetes.
PhD: Columbia University Medical School, New York (1993)
Postdoctoral Fellowship: University of California, San Francisco, California (1998)