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Daniela Nasteska


Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Functional beta cell heterogeneity

      My research focuses on the modalities of GPCR receptor (GLP1R and GIPR) signalling in pancreatic beta cells and islets. By combining mouse models, GLP1R/GIPR-specific tags and dyes and advanced (super-resolution) imaging, I am looking into differences in receptor distribution across beta cell population. GLP1R agonists are therapies of choice for patients with type 2 diabetes due to their role in improving insulin secretion and appetite suppression. Understanding the intricate mechanisms underlying their action in beta cells and islets allows widening of their scope of action and mitigation of their side effects.

Background: I trained as a medical doctor in Macedonia and transitioned to research during my PhD studies. I earned my PhD in Japan, at the Department of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Nutrition, Kyoto University. My work there centred around incretin pathophysiology in obesity and type 2 diabetes. Following PhD completion, I moved to the Centre for Diabetes Research at Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) in Belgium, where I worked on mechanisms underlying premature beta cell death in type 2 diabetes. After moving to the University of Birmingham, I widened my scope of research with the following projects: beta cell heterogeneity and its importance in sustaining normal insulin secretion, describing key factors managing glucose metabolism in beta cells and longitudinal assessment of protein turnover in islets.

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