Dr. Christelle Borel

Hjelt grant holder 2014, University of Geneva

Decipher single-cell transcriptomes of human pancreatic islets in non-diabetic and diabetic individuals (CHF 63 000)

hjelt_projectreportOur research project aims to achieve a full characterization of all human islet cells including, but not exclusive to, insulin producing cells in non-diabetic and type 2 diabetic patients.

We developed a specific, cutting-edge methodology, named “single-cell RNA sequencing “, that enables whole transcriptome sequencing of hundreds of single cells. Practically, human pancreatic islets are prepared and enzymatically dissociated. Viable islet cells are individually captured into microscopic chambers using a microfluidic system. Expression levels of all detectable genes are measured by RNA-sequencing technology using a next generation sequencer.

By characterizing individual islet cells in non-diabetic and diabetic patients, we will be able to decipher the identities of islet cells based on their transcriptome, understand the pancreas function more deeply and reveal any candidate genes in relation to type 2 diabetes.

The ultimate goal of our research program is a better understanding of the pathological process of type 2 diabetes using single-cell functional genomics.


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