Unlocking the Mystery of Diabetes
Insulin is a hormone our bodies naturally secrete, which helps our cells to absorb glucose (a form of sugar) from the foods we eat so that it can be converted it into energy needed for movement, growth, repair and other bodily functions.
Beta-cells located in the pancreas store and release insulin into the bloodstream.
Diabetes — an often debilitating disease that affects eight per cent of the Canadian population — is caused in part by insufficient insulin secretion, which results in a chronic elevation of blood glucose levels.
Dr. Vincent Poitout, Canada Research Chair in Diabetes and Pancreatic Beta-Cell Function, is aiming to better understand beta-cell dysfunction in diabetes.
He is seeking a better understanding of the normal biology of pancreas beta-cells and to identify exactly what goes wrong at the cellular-level when the disease strikes. More specifically, his research aims to pin-point the role of fatty acids in stimulating the secretion of insulin under normal conditions but inhibiting beta-cell function in the diabetic body.
In the long-term, this research will help uncover new therapeutic strategies to prevent beta-cell dysfunction in Type 2 diabetes