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Ashley Christensen

Graduate Student, Gannon Laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

I am studying ways to improve beta cell proliferation and survival in order to treat diabetes. The E prostanoid receptors EP3 and EP4 are G-protein-coupled receptors expressed in various locations throughout the body, including pancreatic islets. Previous data from our lab has shown that pharmacological inhibition of EP3 and activation of EP4 increases beta cell proliferation and survival ex vivo. These results were seen with both human and mouse islets. My project focuses on how EP3 inactivation affects beta cells under the conditions of high fat diet, aging, and pregnancy.