Research Assistant: Mesenchymal Stem Cell Extracellular Vesicles for β Cell Protection in Type 1 DiabetesSummer Course

Major Discipline(s)
Biology, Biomedicine / Biotechnology, Chemistry / Biochemistry
Location: Copenhagen
Labs, Research, & Practicums Session

Type 1 diabetes is characterized by the destruction of β cells, the cells responsible for insulin production. When there is no or limited insulin, it is difficult for the body to keep a normal blood glucose level. Therefore, for blood glucose regulation, patients need to inject insulin routinely.

However, studies have shown that patients still have residual β cell mass and activity years after diagnosis. Therefore it is vital to protect, maintain, or regenerate these ß cell masses and determine if the patient’s need for insulin injection can be reduced, potentially paving the way for the development of therapeutic approaches for maintaining, recovering, or regenerating β cell mass.

One promising approach involves the use of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and their secretome, the set of molecules and biological factors that are secreted by a cell into the extracellular space. Secretome mainly mediate the therapeutic effect of MSCs. MSC’s secretome showed promising results in treating several disorders and we like to use them for T1D.

In the current project, we evaluate the protective and regenerative molecular mechanisms of mesenchymal stem cells and their secretome in in vitro models. Candidates with a strong interest in lab work who are motivated to develop new skills will be learning/working on different stem cell sources, isolate secretome, and test their protective effect on β cell models at molecular levels.

Research Assistantship Hours 

You will spend 180 hours directly engaged in research, together with 20 hours in co-curricular activities, during your RAship.   

Field Studies: Culture & Language 

As a co-curricular complement to your summer research, you will meet every Wednesday, together with faculty from the DIS European Humanities program, for a 6-week introduction to culture and language in Copenhagen.  


Research Mentor Publications

  • Soltani, S., Mansouri, K., Emami, S., Moasefi, N., Yavari, N., Shakouri, K., Notararigo, S., Shojaeian A., Pociot F., Reza Y (2022). Extracellular Vesicle Therapy for Type 1 Diabetes. Frontiers in Immunology (13).
  • Soltani, S., Mansouri, K., Parvaneh, S., Thakor A., Pociot F., Reza Y (2022). Diabetes complications and extracellular vesicle therapy. Rev Endocr Metab Disord (23), 357–385.
  • Chidester, S., Livinski, Alicia A., Fish, Anne F., Joseph, Paule V (2020). The Role of Extracellular Vesicles in β-Cell Function and Viability: A Scoping Review. Frontiers in Immunology (13).

Related Discipline(s)

This summer course would also be of interest to the following discipline(s):
Pre-Medicine / Health Science