A Seattle-based business executive and entrepreneur, Shawn Boday is a partner in the real estate firm Perday, LLC, and owner of the Internet development company Accretive Technology Group. Outside of his professional activities, Shawn Boday supports several charities and nonprofits, including the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).
JDRF-funded research recently discovered evidence suggesting that pancreatic cells responsible for producing insulin may be more adaptable than once thought. In the past, it was believed that pancreatic beta cells, which are lost in type 1 diabetes (T1D), lacked the ability to regenerate.
Discoveries made by researcher Pedro Herrera, PhD, and his team at the University of Geneva, however, show that the pancreas may be able to change glucagon-producing alpha cells into beta cells. In the latest issue of Nature, Dr. Herrera describes the mechanism responsible for this transformation that he and his colleagues discovered in young mice.
Although it could be a long time before humans benefit from these findings, they advance the current understanding of beta cell biology and may eventually lead to new therapeutic interventions, or even a biological cure, for T1D.