Eastern Virginia Medical School, Va.

The major focus of research at the Strelitz Diabetes Center at Eastern Virginia Medical School Strelitz Diabetes Center at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia is our attempts to induce regeneration of pancreatic islets as a means of curing certain people with diabetes, as well as our attempts to induce regeneration of nerves in people who have neuropathy.

Here at the Strelitz Diabetes Center at Eastern Virginia Medical School, we identified a gene -- now called INGAP or islet neogenesis associated peptide -- which in various animal models has been shown to induce differentiation of adult stem cells residing in the human body into pancreatic beta cells capable of secreting insulin in a regulated manner. This has been shown, INGAP has been shown, to reverse diabetes in certain animal models of diabetes, and it now has reached the clinical arena where phase two studies have been carried out, to see whether or not this will be indeed become a treatment for certain forms of diabetes.

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Similar and parallel studies occur with patients with neuropathy in whom we are testing a variety of agents to see whether we can induce nerves to regenerate once they've been damaged by the process of diabetes.

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