Barak Blum

Position title: Assistant Professor


Website: Barak Blum's website

Phone: 608-265-5211

Cell and Regenerative Biology
Regenerative biology of the endocrine pancreas, genetics of type-1 and type-2 diabetes

WIMR, 1111 Highland Ave, Room 4551
Ph.D., The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2010
Cell and Regenerative Biology (CRB)
Research Interests
1. Developmental and regenerative biology of the endocrine pancreas 2. Structure-function relationship in the islets of Langerhans 3. Functional role of β cell heterogeneity in the islets of Langerhans 4. Genetic and epigenetic control of β cell maturation and de-differentiation 5. Ontogeny of β cell failure in diabetes 6. Differentiation and maturation of human pluripotent stem cell-derived endocrine cells
Research Fields
Diabetes, stem cells, endocrine pancreas development and regeneration, genetics of diabetes

Research Description:
The objective of our research is to tackle fundamental questions related to functional maturation of the insulin-secreting β cells in the pancreas, the organogenesis of the islets of Langerhans in which β cells reside, and β cell de-differentiation during diabetes onset. Our long-term goal is to make impactful contributions to understanding and eventually curing diabetes. Toward this goal, we employs genetic mouse models, human pluripotent stem cells, bioinformatics, imaging, and a variety of molecular, biochemical, physiological approaches. Our current interests include the ontogeny and genetic regulation of β cell differentiation during development and de-differentiation in diabetes, the regulation of the islet’s spatial architecture, and the importance of this architecture to islet function in health and disease.

Representative Publications:
Search PubMed for more publications by Barak Blum

Adams, M.T., Gilbert, J.M., Hinojosa Paiz, J., Bowman, F.M., Blum, B. Endocrine cell sorting and mature architecture in the islets of Langerhans require expression of Roundabout receptors in β cells. Scientific Reports 8, 10876 (2018).

Gilbert, J.M., Adams, M.T., Sharon, N., Jayaraaman, H., Blum, B. Morphogenesis of the islets of Langerhans is guided by extra-endocrine Slit2/3 signals. Mol Cell Biol. MCB.00451-20 (2020).

Adams, M.T., Reissaus, C.A., J.M., Dwulet, Jin, E., Joseph M. Szulczewski, J.M., Lyman, M.R., Sdao, S.M., Nimkulrat, S.D., Ponik, S.M., Merrins, M.J., Benninger, R.K.P., Mirmira, R.G., Linnemann, A.K., Blum, B. Reduced synchroneity of intra-islet Ca2+ oscillations in vivo in Robo-deficient β cells. eLife 10:e61308 (2021).

Nimkulrat, S.D., Bernstein, M.N., Ni, Z., Brown, J., Kendziorski, C., Blum, B. The Anna Karenina model of β cell maturation in development and their dedifferentiation in type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Diabetes 70:2058-2066 (2021).