A.B. in Biology from University of Chicago
M.D. from George Washington University
Residency at Mount Auburn, Cambridge, MA
Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) is a secretory protein that is part of the CCN family. It has been implicated in many cellular processes and specifically in the pancreas, it has been shown to be important for beta cell proliferation and possibly angiogenesis. Previous work in the Gannon lab has shown that global CTGF null mutant mice have a decreased beta cell area and alpha: beta cell ratio. Based on this information, we have created a bigenic mouse model that over-expresses CTGF in the beta cells specifically using an inducible doxycycline system. We predict that with CTGF overexpression, we can increase beta cell mass and proliferation as well as angiogenesis. Additionally, we will be performing islet transplantations of the bigenic islets to non-bigenic littermates and administering doxyxycline to see if we can increase beta cell mass, proliferation, and angiogenesis as a method of improving islet survival and sustainability post-transplantation.