The endocrine system consists of a collection of distinct cell identities organized in tissues and shaped into functional organs. These highly specialized tissues ensure the physiological equilibrium of an organism and its possibility, throughout life, to interact with the environment.
How do these cell populations preserve their identity? Which molecular mechanisms are required to maintain their phenotype stable for decades? How are gene regulatory networks altered in pathological conditions?
Our group combines molecular genetics and bioinformatic approaches to understand the regulatory mechanisms that control function and cell fate of endocrine tissues central to diabetes.
We are currently studying the genomic and epigenetic regulation of the insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells. Our research is focused on the regulatory changes that underlie different forms of diabetes and loss of cell fate in neoplastic conditions such as in the neuroendocrine tumors.