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Peter earned his B.Sc. in genetics and M.Sc. in molecular biology at the University of Alberta. He went on to a Ph.D. in Medical Genetics at the University of British Columbia where he studied epigenetic mechanisms of gene regulation in embryonic stem cells. He moved into the fields of islet biology and Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) during his postdoctoral training at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), where his work discovered senescence as a new form of beta cell dysfunction in T1D. He was funded by the Diabetes Research Connection, the Larry L. Hillblom Foundation and the Program for Breakthrough Biomedical Research at UCSF. In 2020, he became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physiology & Pathophysiology at the University of Manitoba and a Principal Investigator in the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba. His research program explores the role of beta cell stress responses and their crosstalk with the immune system in the pathogenesis of T1D with the goal of developing new therapies.
- Senescence is a non-lethal stress response in the beta cell that contributes to the development of diabetes
- DNA damage to beta cells/islets in culture elicits some of the key features of senescent beta cells that accumulate in type 1 diabetes
- Culture models for beta cell senescence will allow us to understand basic mechanisms and identify therapeutic targets