University of Miami
Dr. Caicedo is a professor of medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Originally trained as a sensory neurobiologist, Dr. Caicedo started working in the field of pancreatic islet biology in 2005. His work focuses on fundamental aspects of the anatomy and physiology of the human islet. His primary goal is to provide detailed knowledge of islet biology that is relevant to understand the control of glucose homeostasis and its derangement in diabetes.
Dr. Almaça is an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. She trained as an electrophysiologist in Portugal and Germany. Dr. Almaça's current research focuses on the vasculature of the islet. In her work, Dr. Almaça is testing the hypothesis that microvascular dysfunction in the islet leads to a disturbance of hormone secretion, to glucose intolerance, and eventually to diabetes.
Dr. Rodriguez-Diaz is an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. A major direction in his work has been to characterize the autonomic innervation of the human islet. His anatomical studies have provided striking new insights into neural control of islet function. Currently, Dr. Rodriguez-Diaz is studying the impact the somatostatin secreting delta cell has on endocrine and immune function in the islet.
Dr. Luciana Gonçalves is a postdoctoral associate who under Dr. Almaça's mentorship is studying changes in islet vascular function during development and diabetes pathogenesis.
Dr. Julia Panzer is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. She initially trained as a chemist and pursued her Ph.D. in human biology in Germany. During her doctoral studies she helped implement the human slice platform to study islet in their native environment. Her current projects focus on human islet development.
Dr. Makhmutova is a postdoctoral associate whose studies are aimed at determining how the pancreatic islet communicates with the brain. Towards this end, she is recording from neurons in the nodose ganglion that connect the pancreas to the brain. She expects her work to elucidate the type of information the islet is sending to the brain under healthy and diabetic conditions.
Dr. Weitz recently graduated from the Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology Program at the University of Miami. He continues his research project as a postdoctoral fellow. He is performing physiological studies in living pancreas slices to determine how the islet resident macrophage communicates with other cells within the islet. His work will help us understand how this immune cell responds to local cues to maintain a stable and healthy islet environment.
Dr. Anna Lang is a postdoctoral associate who is studying mitochondrial function in pancreatic beta cells. She is developing an in vivo system to study mitochondrial signaling associated with mitochondrial OXPHOS defects. She will transplant beta cells with genetic or toxin-induced defects in different OXPHOS complexes into the eyes of recipient mice and use imaging techniques to follow cellular and mitochondrial function in vivo.
Mr. Alejandro Tamayo is a research associate with expertise in metabolic studies (e.g. glucose tolerance tests), islet transplantation, in vitro studies to measure hormone secretion from the islet, genotyping and animal husbandry. He provides excellent support for all the projects.
Ms. Elizabeth Pereira is a research associate with expertise in histology, immunohistochemistry, confocal microscopy, genotyping and animal husbandry. She provides excellent support for all the projects.
Mr. Nader is a graduate student in the Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology Program at the University of Miami. In his research project, he is examining the role of the tyrosine hydroxylase-expressing beta cell. His work will help us understand the contribution of this elusive cell to islet biology.
Mr. Farhan Qureshi is an MD/PhD student at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. In his research project, he is investigating the effects of immune cell infiltration on beta cell function to test the hypothesis that beta cell dysfunction precedes beta cell death during the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes.