May 2024

BESE Seminar

Progress seminar (KAUST Ibn Rushd Fellowship Program): A Molecular Quest for Understanding Islet Dysfunction in Type 2 Diabetes

Dr. Tamadher A. Alghunaim
27 May, 2024
02:00 PM – 03:00 PM

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is the most common form of diabetes. It is typically characterized by high blood glucose levels due to the inability of the body to respond to insulin, also known as insulin resistance, in combination with a relative or absolute decrease in insulin secretion from the pancreatic islets. Beta-cells within the pancreatic islets of Langerhans synthesize and secrete insulin to maintain optimal blood glucose levels. As T2D develops, an initial increase in insulin secretion occurs as an attempt to compensate for insulin resistance, but over time the beta-cells fail to keep up with these demands resulting in glucose intolerance. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified more than 700 of regions of the genome that harbor variants which are associated with altered risk for type 2 diabetes, but the underlying genes and molecular mechanisms leading to disease are poorly understood. Most of the identified genetic signals associated with T2D risk are in non- coding regions, suggesting that they likely confer their risk through regulatory defects that aTect gene expression in diabetes relevant cell types. One of the major challenges in the field is to identify the downstream genes and pathways through which these variants mediate their eTect, a crucial step to translating these findings into disease mechanisms and clinical applications. In the Translational Genomics of Diabetes Lab at Stanford, Dr. Alghunaim aims to address this challenge by coupling genetic discoveries from large scale GWAS with mechanistic studies in authentic human pancreatic beta-cell models.

Dr. Tamadher Alghunaim received her Ph.D. from the University of Toronto, where she conducted her studies in the Diabetes Complications Lab of Dr. Andrew Advani. After obtaining her Ph.D., she pursued her postdoctoral research in the Islet Biology Lab of Dr. Patrick MacDonald at the University of Alberta. Dr. Alghunaim is the recipient of the KAUST Ibn Rushd Fellowship Award. As an Ibn Rushd Research Fellow, she is conducting her research studies with Dr. Anna Gloyn at the Translational Genomics of Diabetes Lab at Stanford University. Her research focuses on identifying molecular mechanisms for type 2 diabetes by studying diabetes associated genetic variants in authentic human cellular models.

Event Quick Information

27 May, 2024
02:00 PM - 03:00 PM
Bldg. 2 - Level 5 - Room 5220