Insulin-producing pancreatic cells created from human skin cells

Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes, the Diabetes Center at UCSF, and the UCSF School of Pharmacy have converted human skin cells into fully functional pancreatic cells that produce insulin in response to changes in glucose levels. Transplanted into mice, the cells protected the animals from developing a mouse model of diabetes.

The new study, co-senior-authored by UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member Sheng Ding, PhD, was published in Nature Communications on January 6, 2016.

The study demonstrates significant advancements in cellular reprogramming technology, which allow massive increases in pancreatic cell production while maintaining quality control. The accomplishment opens the door for disease modeling and drug screening—and brings personalized cell therapy a step closer for patient with diabetes.

Ding is a faculty member in the School’s Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and a senior investigator in the Roddenberry Stem Cell Center at Gladstone.


Insulin-Producing Pancreatic Cells Created from Human Skin Cells

About the School: The UCSF School of Pharmacy is a premier graduate-level academic organization dedicated to improving health through precise therapeutics. It succeeds through innovative research, by educating PharmD health professional and PhD science students, and by caring for the therapeutics needs of patients while exploring innovative new models of patient care. The School was founded in 1872 as the first pharmacy school in the American West. It is an integral part of UC San Francisco, a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide.