Rennian Wang

Associate Professor

Rennian Wang

Cross Appointed with The Department of Medicine

University of Kiel
M.Sc. Free University of Brussels
M.D. Shanghai Medical University

Office:  Child Health Research Institute
5th floor Victoria Research Laboratories, Room A5-140
800 commissioners Rd. East
London, ON, N6C2V5
Phone: (519) 685-8500 Ext. 55098
Fax: (519) 685-8186
Visit Dr. Wang's Homepage
See Publications by Rennian Wang on PubMed

Neogenesis, the differentiation of islet beta cells from progenitor cells present in the pancreas, can continue into postnatal life, and has been reported to occur in several animal models. Recent studies have also demonstrated neogenesis of endocrine cells in vitro from ductal structures or from islet themselves derived from adult human and animals, suggest new possibilities for generating new beta cells in culture. Such strategies might provide models to study the regulation of islet differentiation as well as providing new sources of beta cells for transplantation, but the nature of endocrine progenitors identity and the signals that regulate neogenic activity need to be elucidated. The research focus in my laboratory are: (i) the molecular events controlling pre- and postnatal beta-cell development and maturation, and (ii) the characterization of optimal culture environments for inducing progenitors to differentiate into insulin-producing islet cells, maintaining islet architecture and function. There are three major projects in my research program: (1) developing of human pancreas [funded by CDA], (2) SCF/c-Kit in regulating beta-cell function and survival [funded by CIHR] and (3) integrin/ECM in maintaining islet architecture and function [funded by NSERC]. Our long-term goal is to create effective strategies for islet cell replacement or regeneration in human diabetics.

Riopel M, Krishnamurthy M, Li J, Liu S, Leask A, Wang R.  Conditional β1 integrin-deficient mice display impaired pancreatic β-cell function. J Pathol. 2011, 224:45-55.

Al-Masri M, Krishnamurthy M, Li J, Fellows F, Goodyer CG, Wang R.  Role of FOXO1 in regulating beta-cell differentiation during human fetal pancreatic development. Diabetologia, 2010, 53(4):699-711.

Saleem S, Li J, Yee SP, Fellows F, Goodyer CG, Wang R.  β1 integrin/FAK stimulated MAPK/ERK pathway regulates human fetal islet cell development and survival. J Pathol. 2009, 219(2):182-92.

Lyttle B, Li J, Krishnamurthy M, Fellows F, Wheeler MB, Goodyer CG, Wang R.  Transcription factor expression in the developing human fetal endocrine pancreas. Diabetologia. 2008, 51:1169-1180.

Krishnamurthy M, Ayazi F, Li J, Lyttle AJ, Woods M, Wu YX,. Yee SP, Wang R. c-Kit in the Early Onset of Diabetes: a morphological and functional analysis of pancreatic β-cells in c-KitW-v mutant mice. Endocrinology. 2007, 148:5520-5530 (with Cover Art).

Li J, Quirt J, Do HQ, Lyte K, Fellows F, Goodyer CG, Wang R. Expression of c-Kit receptor tyrosine kinase and effect on β-cell development in the human fetal pancreas. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2007, 293(2):E475-83.

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