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Current lab members



Prof. Pedro Herrera

 pedro2Pedro Herrera, Ph.D. is specialized in the early development of the pancreas and in the field of beta cell regeneration. He studies the pancreatic cell lineages and the mechanisms of cell fate determination, either during embryonic development or after injury, i.e. during adult regeneration, using different transgenic mouse models. In 2000, Dr. Herrera pioneered the use of the Cre/loxP system to genetically tag cells in embryos: he performed the first recorded in vivo cell lineage tracing analysis. In 2010, he showed that fully mature glucagon-producing alpha cells can convert to functioning insulin-producing beta cells, and that this change can happen naturally and spontaneously when nearly all beta cells are lost. Previous research in the field has been able to reprogram adult cells into insulin-producing cells, but that change required genetic manipulation, an effect that would be difficult to translate into therapies for type 1 diabetes.


Research Associate

Dr. Fabrizio Thorel, Lecturer 


My 10-year research experience in the field of pancreas development and regeneration is particularly well- suited for the current proposal: I have been deeply involved in developing powerful and innovative transgenic tools aimed at studying mechanisms of islet cell plasticity toward insulin production in conditions relevant to diabetes. A constant effort is maintained in order to translate to human patients the findings that we are obtaining using the various diabetic mouse models, which we developed. Our recent results are exciting and promising.

fabrizio.thorel at

Postdoctoral fellows

Dr. Kenichiro Furuyama, Assistant


After five-year clinical work as a gastroenterological surgeon in Japan, I have been engaged in basic research with strong motivation for back to clinical application. First, I started and developed my research career under the mentorship of Dr. Yoshiya Kawaguchi focusing on organ development, regeneration and adult stem cells in gastroenterological organs including the liver, pancreas and intestine. Since 2011, I had engaged in iPS/ES cell research to explore the differentiation from iPS/ES cells into the pancreas and acquired the key technics for in vitro differentiation. In addition, I had also engaged in clinical human islet isolation and transplantation therapy for 5 years and learned how to translate from bench into bedside. Finally, I have joined the current laboratory since 2012 and devoted to this project with enthusiasm.

kenichiro.furuyama at

Marina Casimir, Assistant

Daniel Oropeza, Assistant

Graduate students

Delphine Baronnier-Caffé, PhD student


Nicolas Damond, PhD student


Valentina Cigliola, PhD student

Administrative staff

Olivier Fazio, Technician


Gissela Gallardo Cabrera, Technician


Carine Gysler, Technician


Berivan Polat, Technician


Muriel Urwyler, Technician


Teresa Enes, Secretary