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Wnt Signaling and Beta Cell Maturation

Tuesday November 03, 2020 - 17:10 to 17:45


Wnt Signaling and Beta Cell Maturation

Hanne Scholz, Norway

Associate Professor
Department of Transplant Medicine
University of Oslo and Oslo University Hospital


Generating insulin-producing β-cells from human induced pluripotent stem cells is a promising cell replacement therapy for improving or curing insulin-dependent diabetes. However, current published protocols for targeted differentiation of human stem cells toward pancreatic b-cells fail to deliver sufficiently mature cells with functional properties comparable to human islet b-cells. Fundamental to the development of functional b-cells is an understanding of how stem cells or progenitor cells are instructed to become differentiated cells in the correct order.  We hypothesize a role of environmental signals in combination with cell-to-cell signals such as Wnt-signaling can drive terminal differentiation, and achieving functional b-cell maturation.  


Dr. Hanne Scholz is a senior scientist at the Department of Transplantation Medicine, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway, and the director of the human islet isolation facility performing clinical islet transplantation for treatment of type 1 diabetes in Norway. Dr. Scholz leads a major research program within Department of Transplantation, Institute for Surgical Research and University of Oslo which aim to improve and optimize islet isolation, beta cell replacement therapies and improve patient outcomes. In the past year, the laboratory has started in collaboration with prof. Helge Ræder and Dr. Simona Chera at University of Bergen to deploy iPS technology for in vitro differentiation of human stem cells towards mature beta cells. Dr. Scholz is the vice director of the Centre of Excellence “Hybrid Technology Hub” at University of Oslo aiming to develop Organ on a chip platform of functional metabolic human tissue. Dr. Scholz is active board member of the Nordic Network for Clinical Islet Transplantation (NNCIT), member of Oslo Diabetes Research Center, and councilor of the International Pancreas and Islet Transplantation Association (IPITA 2017-2021) and European Society for Organ Transplantation (ESOT 2019-2023).

Presentations by Hanne Scholz

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