Doug Melton, Ph.D.
Dr. Melton's laboratory works in the general area of regenerative medicine. They focus all of their work on diabetes, aiming to turn pluripotent stem cells into pancreatic insulin-producing beta cells and to reconstruct human type 1 diabetes (T1D) in a humanized mouse. Much of Dr. Melton's research focuses on deriving human pluripotent stem cells, both ES and iPS cells, for use as a starting material. The Melton lab uses biological and chemical screening approaches to identify the signals that can direct these cells into insulin-secreting pancreatic beta cells. In addition, they use these same molecular, cellular and genetic approaches to make other components implicated in type 1 diabetes. Specifically, the Melton lab aims to make thymic epithelia and hematopoietic stem cells as the two components that educate and execute immune attacks. All of these components will be put into a “living test tube” in an attempt to reconstruct human type 1 diabetes. The living test tube is a humanized mouse, a NOD/SCID/IL2Rgamma mutant mouse.