Science talk, sponsored by the Biology Class of ‘88 Lecture Fund: Dr. Melton is the Xander University Professor at Harvard, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and the Co-director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.
One goal of regenerative medicine is to replace missing or defective cells. Diabetics suffer from the absence of insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells and a possible solution, in principle, is to use human stem cells to make new functional beta cells. Advances in directing the differentiation of pluripotent stem cells has advanced to the point where functional beta cells can be produced in vitro and done so at a scale that enables transplantation studies and clinical trials. The state of this field of human developmental biology and the challenges ahead will be discussed. (Lunch available at 12:15pm). A second lecture for the public will take place later that afternoon, at 4:30pm in MBH 216. (See www.middlebury.edu/academics/bio)
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