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Investigator Profile: Ricardo Pastori

Ricordi Pastori, PhD
Research Professor
University of Miami
Consortium:HPAC
Project:
High-Resolution Characterization of Human Ductal Progenitor Cells and their
                 Regeneration Potential

 

 


Where are you from originally, and where did you go to school?

I was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I got a PhD in Biological Chemistry at the Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires.

►What is your current position?

I am a Research Professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Diabetes Research Institute (DRI).

►Why did you decide to become a researcher?

I just always loved research

►What is the “Big Picture” of what you study?

Behind the big picture is curing cure diabetes. We believe that we have discovered a novel population of human pancreatic progenitor-like cells, characterized by the expression of PDX1 and the BMP receptor 1A (ALK3). These cells, respond to BMPR1A agonists by differentiating into multiple pancreatic cell types (including beta-cell-like cells). We just got an HIRN NIH grant to study the role and biology of these cells in the context of pancreatic tissue plasticity/regeneration, both in health and type 1 diabetes.

►What is your favorite aspect of your research?

Discussing science/results with my colleagues and reading papers.

► What do you hope to achieve with your research?

We hope that activation of endogenous progenitor-like cells within the pancreas by BMR1a activators could be the base for the development of in situ therapies for both T2D and T1D.

► What groups are you involved with?

Professionally, I interact/collaborate with many DRI colleagues from diverse scientific background.

►When not in the lab what are your favorite hobbies/activities?

Music. I play classical guitar since I was a child.