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Islet Cell Transplants - A New Approach: Pamela Itkin-Ansari, Ph.D. at TEDxDelMar

Our theme for TEDxDelMar 2011 was "A Search For A Cure". In this video, Dr. Itkin-Ansari gives us her presentation entitled "Islet Cell Transplants - A New Approach". Pamela Itkin-Ansari earned her Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the University of California, San Diego in 1999. She received postdoctoral training focused on juvenile diabetes at that same organization. In 2003, Dr. Itkin-Ansari was appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and maintains UCSD as her primary affiliation. Dr. Itkin-Ansari was appointed to Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in 2005 and her laboratory is located at the Institute. Dr. Itkin-Ansari's research is directed toward understanding diseases of the human pancreas. She has studied the signaling pathways controlling growth and differentiation in the pancreas in order to elucidate mechanisms leading to pancreatic pathogenesis. The lab is developing a cell-based therapy for diabetes that will not reqire immunosuppression. New research in the lab has also identified a signaling pathway controlling pancreatic cancer cell growth, which is yielding new potential targets for drug discovery for pancreatic cancer. Dr. Ikin-Ansari is interested in identifying the master regulators of growth control in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA). She found that the transcriptional repressor Id3 is profoundly upregulated in human PDA. To investigate whether Id3 might play an early role in aberrant pancreatic duct cell growth, she expressed the gene in primary human duct cells, which do not normally grow. Indeed, Id3 expression was sufficient to trigger cell cycle entry. Further, the lab demonstrated that Id3 is required for pancreatic cancer cell growth. Dr. Itkin-Ansari's group is now studying Id3-interacting genes in order to identify optimal targets for drug discovery efforts for PDA. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.
Length: 15:20


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