Investigator Profile: Ricardo Pastori
Ricordi Pastori, PhD
►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.