Harvard Researcher Part of Preeminent Beta Cell Regeneration & Autoimmunity Team

BOSTON (September 26, 2013) – Joslin Diabetes Center today announced that Peng Yi, Ph.D., has been appointed an Assistant Investigator in the Islet Cell and Regenerative Biology Section of Joslin’s Research Division. Yi joins a leading team of researchers focused on improving diabetes treatment and finding a cure.

“This work is incredibly important as we work toward a cure and solutions in the prevention and treatment of diabetes and we are fortunate to now have Dr. Yi join our team,” said Joslin Diabetes Center President and CEO John L. Brooks, III.  “With the addition of Peng Yi to the Islet Cell and Regenerative Biology Section, Joslin is one step closer to completing our team of the world’s preeminent beta cell regeneration and autoimmunity experts.” 

Investigators in Joslin’s Islet Cell and Regenerative Biology Section seek to understand how the emerging field of regenerative biology can be applied to repair or replace tissues that are damaged by diabetes, ranging from the insulin-producing pancreatic beta cell to the various tissues that are subject to complications. This focus extends to understanding how diabetes influences the development and function of organs and tissues. 

Dr. Yi comes to Joslin from the Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology at Harvard University. Since 2008 he had worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of department co-chair Dr. Douglas Melton, investigating the replication and regeneration of pancreatic beta cells.  Yi and Melton recently announced their discovery of betatrophin, a hormone that increases the production of new insulin - producing beta cells in the pancreas, which could lead to improved treatment for type 1 and 2 diabetes.  Dr. Yi will continue this work at Joslin.    

Dr. Yi received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Science & Technology of China. He earned his Ph.D. in Genetics and Development from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.