New Diabetes Treatment

Project to work on the capability of the pancreas’s alpha cells to metamorphose into beta cells and thus produce insulin.


Type 2 diabetes, or non-insulin-dependent diabetes, is characterized by a regularly elevated ratio of glucose in the blood. This metabolic malfunctioning is tied to the pancreas’s inability to produce enough insulin for the sugar to be transformed into energy. This type of diabetes is occurring more and more often in patients who are young but have obesity.



The project is to build upon an essential discovery made by Professor Pedro Herrera in mice: the alpha cells of the pancreas are able to transform into beta cells and thus can produce a sufficient quantity of insulin. The preliminary results in humans are promising. It is therefor time to pursue investigation on a larger scale in patients with Type 2 diabetes, in collaboration with one of the largest European centers for islet of Langerhans transplants.


project managers

Professor Pedro Herrera, Department of Genetic Medicine and Development, Faculty of Medicine, UNIGE
Professor Thierry Berney, Division Head Physician, Transplantation Division, Department of Surgery, HUG