Insulinoma: lessons in survival from immortal pancreatic beta cells

Lucy Davison (primary)
Clinical Sciences and Service
Royal Veterinary College
Brian Catchpole (secondary)
Pathobiology and Population Sciences
Royal Veterinary College


Canine insulinoma is a functional tumour of insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells. Whilst the condition is rare, certain dog breeds such as the Boxer, German Shepherd and Golden Retriever appear to be predisposed. Intriguingly, these insulinoma-prone breeds are protected from diabetes mellitus, a condition resulting from beta cell destruction. This suggests there are genetically-driven breed-related differences in beta cell health and survival among dog breeds. This project will use whole genome sequencing to explore genetic predisposition to canine insulinoma. In addition, single cell transcriptomics and immuno-histochemistry will be used to identify novel molecular drivers of beta cell survival and renewal.


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Genes, development and STEM* approaches to biology
Area of Biology
Cell BiologyGenetics
Techniques & Approaches
BioinformaticsGeneticsMolecular Biology