Anil Bhushan, PhD

Dr. Anil Bhushan earned his PhD in Biophysics at University of California, Davis. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute of Biological Studies where he worked on TGF-beta signaling in the specification and patterning of endoderm. He subsequently worked at Institute Curi© and Hospital Robert Debre in Paris on pancreatic development. The major goals of his laboratory are to understand the molecular mechanisms that govern beta cell formation and regeneration of pancreatic beta cells. An inadequate mass of functional beta cells results in diabetes mellitus, a metabolic disorders characterized by hyperglycaemia and defective metabolism of glucose. Therapeutic strategies involve restoring functional beta cell mass by exogenous replacement or transplantation of a source of beta cells such as embryonic stem cells derived beta cells or activation of endogenous regeneration of beta cells. Elucidation of the epigenetic network that regulates transcription during pancreatic developmental and regeneration will provide the blueprint by which the extra-cellular cues are interpreted at the nuclear level by the transcription machinery to select the repertoire of beta cell-specific genes. Such a blueprint will inform us on how to direct stem cells to beta cell fate in vitro and allow us to devise pharmacological interventions toward selective manipulation of gene expression to promote regeneration of beta cell mass. Furthermore, generation of animal models of diabetes and strategies to develop novel cellular therapies for diabetes can enable and test outcomes for candidate therapeutic approaches. While the interest of the laboratory is on beta cell formation and regeneration, a number of molecular components of the epigenetic network we study are involved not only in the formation of diverse organs but they also contribute to the development of cancer. Close proximity with these groups within the center should generate molecular tools, genetic resources, and experience that will greatly enhance the efforts of investigators in this center to assess and experimentally manipulate the stem cell and regenerative based research

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