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Search Program Faculty/Research

Bruno Doiron, Ph.D.

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RESEARCH

As project leader, Dr. Bruno Doiron has made major discoveries in the field of gene regulation by nutrients and has four patents on the modulation of glucose metabolism as it relates to the treatment diabetes and cancer. He has extensive experience in basic research at the physiologic and molecular levels and then application to the biotechnology field. 

More recently, he has developed a method in vivo to target specifically adult pancreas with viral vector that will be used in our program of research Cellular Networking Integration Processing (CNIP) to induce beta cell formation. The CNIP approach has the advantage of its simplicity of application to induce pancreatic beta cell formation specifically to the own pancreas of the diabetic subject. The use of stem cells as a source of beta cell has received recent interest. 

However, this approach requires an in vitro culture system with subsequent islets cell transplantation with all of the problems that have limited this approach. The CNIP bypasses the problems associated with in vitro petri dish culture, i.e. good manufacturing practice, and the problems associated with islet transplantation that have limited this approach for more than two decades. Stem cells are highly proliferative and can readily form teratocarcinomas. 

Further, many of the transcriptional factors employed in stem cell transformation include oncogenes like MafA. The in vitro stem cell differentiation protocols do not produce a consistent level of beta cell-like differentiation for each petri dish culture, and the beta-cell-like differentiated stem cells can continue to differentiate into other cell types after injection in vivo, resulting in cell with a very different profile than was present in the petri dish. 

Thus, the in vitro cell culture differentiation approach to form beta cells is far from clinical application. Moreover, after the stem cells are injected in vivo, one still has to deal with all of the hurdles encountered in islet transplantation including the immune rejection process. 

The in vivo CNIP approach obviates these hurdles. The successful completion of this CNIP research program would have an enormous impact on the treatment of type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes, where one of the major physiopathologic mechanisms is the progressive loss of pancreatic beta cells. 

This research program could open the way for prevention, treatment, and potentially a cure for this common metabolic disease that affects 27 million individuals in the U.S. alone.   

Selected Publications

Doiron B, DeFronzo RA. Distinct Efffects of Metformin on Pdx-1 Before and After Birth. International Journal of Endocrinology Metabolism. 2011 Dec;9(2):356-357.

Assistant Professor

Education

Ph.D., Gene Regulation, University of Paris Descartes, 1997

M.S., Physiology of Exercise, University of Montreal, 1989

B.S., Physical Education, University of Moncton, 1986

Contact

Email: doiron@uthscsa.edu

Phone: (210) 567-0767