Diabetes and pancreatitis are two of the most common pancreatic diseases, affecting millions of Canadians. Dr. Herbert Gaisano, Canada Research Chair in Diseases of the Exocrine and Endocrine Pancreas, is trying to develop new treatments for these conditions.
Using insights gleaned from his past work with SNARE proteins, Gaisano is pursuing new areas of diabetes research. He and his research team are exploring why pancreatic alpha-cells secrete glucagon (which raises blood sugar) abnormally in diabetes. They are also looking for new ways to visualize the biology of human pancreatic islets transplanted into the mouse eye. In addition, they are studying how intestinal bacteria contribute to metabolic syndrome, a group of health conditions that increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.