Episode 3| Journey to the Centre of Diabetes

Diabetes is one of the leading causes of death worldwide and affects > 3 million Canadians. This number is only set to grow as diabetes is being regarded as a global epidemic. What are the physiological processes in the body that fail, leading to Diabetes and what are the solutions that researchers are working on to solve this problem? Cindy Zhang, a Master’s student in the Department of Physiology at the University of Toronto and a Research radio team member takes us on a journey down the largest endocrine organ in the body (clue: you’ve ‘gut’ta be kidding me!) to explore the hormones involved in Diabetes. If you had trouble in Biology class mixing up the roles of insulin and glucagon- Cindy’s explanation with nightclub bouncers is sure to make it stick.

Cindy talks to the expert- Dr. Patricia Brubaker, a Professor in the Department of Physiology, to learn about the intestinal hormone GLP (Glucagon like peptide) which is used as a therapy to lower blood glucose levels in Diabetes. Listen in to find out about exciting work from Dr. Brubaker’s lab that developed GLP as a formulation that could be delivered orally and retained in the body for longer, which would greatly improve the ease of treatment. Also featured- fresh off the lab bench is PhD student Alexandre Martchenko from Dr. Brubaker’s lab who talks about his journey into science, and his research studying the link between the internal Circadian clock, diet, and how this affects GLP release- all in cells inside a petridish!

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