Rennian Wang

Rennian Wang


Cross Appointed with The Department of Medicine

 University of Kiel
M.Sc. Free University of Brussels
M.D. Shanghai Medical University
Office:  Child Health Research Institute
5th floor Victoria Research Laboratories, Room A5-140

p. 519.685.8500 x. 55098
f. 519.685.8186 
Visit Dr. Wang's Homepage
See Publications by Rennian Wang on PubMed

Neogenesis, the differentiation of islet beta cells from progenitor cells present in the pancreas, can continue into postnatal life, and has been reported to occur in several animal models. Recent studies have also demonstrated neogenesis of endocrine cells in vitro from ductal structures or from islet themselves derived from adult human and animals, suggest new possibilities for generating new beta cells in culture. Such strategies might provide models to study the regulation of islet differentiation as well as providing new sources of beta cells for transplantation, but the nature of endocrine progenitors identity and the signals that regulate neogenic activity need to be elucidated. The research focus in my laboratory are: (i) the molecular events controlling pre- and postnatal beta-cell development and maturation, and (ii) the characterization of optimal culture environments for inducing progenitors to differentiate into insulin-producing islet cells, maintaining islet architecture and function. There are three major projects in my research program: (1) developing of human pancreas [funded by CDA], (2) SCF/c-Kit in regulating beta-cell function and survival [funded by CIHR] and (3) integrin/ECM in maintaining islet architecture and function [funded by NSERC]. Our long-term goal is to create effective strategies for islet cell replacement or regeneration in human diabetics.


Li J, Feng ZC, Yeung FS, Wong MR, Oakie A, Fellows GF, Goodyer CG, Hess DA, Wang R. Aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 activity in the developing human pancreas modulates retinoic acid signalling in mediating islet differentiation and survival. Diabetologia. 2013 Dec 28. [Epub ahead of print]

Riopel M, Stuart W, Wang R. Fibrin improves beta (INS-1) cell function, proliferation and survival through integrin αvβ3. Acta Biomater. 2013 Sep;9(9):8140-8. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2013.05.035. Epub 2013 Jun 7.

Feng ZC, Riopel M, Li J, Donnelly L, Wang R. Downregulation of Fas activity rescues early onset of diabetes in c-Kit(Wv/+) mice. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Mar 15;304(6):E557-65. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00453. 2012. Epub 2012 Dec 26.

Breen DM, Rasmussen BA, Kokorovic A, Wang R, Cheung GW, Lam TKT. Jejunal nutrient sensing is required for duodenal-jejunal bypass surgery to rapidly lower glucose levels in uncontrolled diabetes. Nat Med. 2012 Jun;18(6):950-5. doi: 10.1038/nm.2745.

Feng ZC, Li J, Turco BA, Riopel M, Yee SP, Wang R. Critical role of c-Kit in beta cell function: increased insulin secretion and protection against diabetes in a mouse model. Diabetologia. 2012 Aug;55(8):2214-25. doi: 10.1007/s00125-012-2566-5. Epub 2012 May 14.

Riopel M, Krishnamurthy M, Li J, Liu S, Leask A, Wang R. Conditional β1-integrin-deficient mice display impaired pancreatic β cell function. J Pathol. 2011 May;224(1):45-55. doi: 10.1002/path.2849. Epub 2011 Mar 7.