Adolfo Garcia Ocana, PhD
Dr. Garcia-Ocaña’s research interest over the years has been to study tissue regeneration, growth promoting agents and intracellular signaling. More specifically, his research group is currently working in three areas of research: First, his research group is studying the role of agents that can induce robust pancreatic beta cell regeneration in vivo using mouse models of human islet transplantation. In collaboration with Drs. Andrew Stewart, Peng Wang and Robert DeVita, his group is testing the effect of harmine and harmine derivatives on human beta cell expansion in mice transplanted with human islets using 3D imaging techniques. These studies could have strong implications for future therapies aiming at increasing the number of insulin-producing cells in diabetic patients. Second, since beta cell regenerative therapies will require, at the same time, treatment with pancreatic beta cell protective agents and immune tolerance enhancers for type 1 diabetes therapy, his research group is also studying sulfated polysaccharides and growth factors that simultaneously modulate the immune system and protect pancreatic beta cells for amelioration of type 1 diabetes. Third, his lab, in collaboration with Dr. Donald Scott group, is studying how pancreatic beta cells adapt to changes in nutrients and the role that the transcription factor Myc plays in this adaptation. His research group is using the latest technologies (HTS, Genomics, Proteomics and Metabolomics), animal models and basic science knowledge to uncover and translate significant findings into potential safe and innovative therapies for the treatment of diabetes. Additional information regarding Dr. Garcia-Ocaña’s research group, funding and publications can be found clicking the following link: https://labs.icahn.mssm.edu/garciaocana-lab/.
Dr. Garcia-Ocaña is also the Director of the Human islet and Adenovirus Core (HIAC) funded by the joint Albert Einstein-Mount Sinai Diabetes Research Center (ES-DRC). The HIAC provides key advice, methods, technology and infrastructure to assist research investigators in the use of human islets for research, with the goal of furthering understanding of normal and pathophysiologic islet cell growth and function. While the focus is on human islets, the HIAC also provides isolation of rodent islets, access to rodent insulinoma cell lines, and specific experimental analyses such as assays for insulin secretion, islet bioenergetics, beta cell proliferation, mass and survival, as well as human islet transplantation into immunodeficient mice, with subsequent functional analyses. HIAC also generates and makes available to the ES-DRC community reagents and tools including adenovirus or lentivirus viralvectors for gene delivery of cDNAs and shRNAs of interest to beta cells and other cell types to study beta cell regeneration, differentiation, survival and function. For more information, please click the following link: https://einsteinmed.org/centers/diabetes-research/human-Islet-and-adenovirus-core/.
Apoptosis/Cell Death, Cell Biology, Cell Cycle, Cell Division, Diabetes, Gene Expressions, Gene Regulation, Gene Therapy, Growth Factors and Receptors, Hormones, Knockout Mice, Molecular Biology, Obesity, Protein Kinases, Receptors, Signal Transduction, Transcription Factors, Transgenic Mice, Transplantation