Dr. Dhawan's group is interested in understanding the biology of the insulin producing beta cells. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes result from the loss of beta cells, making beta cell replenishment a very important therapeutic goal. Approaches to this end include generating beta cells from stem/iPS cells, as well as protecting and regenerating the endogenous beta cells. The successful outcome of each of these approaches demands the generation of abundant numbers of functional beta cells that are survival competent in the diabetic milieu. With this in mind, the research in Dhawan laboratory focuses on understanding the epigenetic and cellular signaling pathways that regulate the formation, function, regeneration and survival of pancreatic beta cells during development, and under circumstances that warrant the repair/regeneration of beta cells In addition, these studies aim to identify and characterize beta cell subpopulations and their role in glucose homeostasis. The Dhawan’s lab is also interested in the dyregulation of epigenetic processes in beta cells during diabetes pathogenesis. The Dhawan lab used mouse genetics, lineage tracing, islet culture and high throughput sequencing techniques to address these questions.