PhD Candidate in ISCRM, Kristin Mussar, uses new crowd funding site to raise funds for diabetes related project. Her project focuses on understanding how the environment surrounding the pancreas impacts its development and how this knowledge can be used to repair the damaged pancreas.
During development, immature cells must undergo two essential processes: expansion to produce more precursor cells, and maturation to become functional adult cells. Very early during gestation, immune cells are present throughout the embryo. While typically involved in fighting infections, these subsets of immune cells are responsible for proper development. She has discovered that there are two such populations surrounding the pancreas during development: tissue resident and inflammatory-like macrophages and hypothesizes that these cells are involved in maturation and expansion of immature islet cells, respectively.