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Christine Doucette PhD

Currently accepting students.

Current Position

Assistant Professor, Department of Physiology at the University of Manitoba; Research Scientist at the Children\’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba

History

Dr. Doucette was born and raised in Toronto, ON and completed her PhD in plant molecular biology and biochemistry in 2007. She studied the role of the mitochondrion in cell death and defence pathways in Tobacco.

Dr. Doucette wanted to pursue work in a field with more relevance to human health so she began her post-doctoral studies in the lab of Dr. Michael Wheeler at the University of Toronto studying the role of uncoupling proteins in the regulation of pancreatic function and glucose homeostasis.

Once completing her post-doctoral fellowship, she was offered an opportunity to develop a research program in the area of pancreatic beta cell function and type 2 diabetes at the University of Manitoba and the Children\’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba. Without hesitation Dr. Doucette moved to Winnipeg in July 2012.

Education

2000-Honours B.Sc. from University of Toronto €“ Specialist in cell and molecular biology

2007-PhD from University of Toronto €“ Cell and systems biology

Research Focus:

Type 2 diabetes is a multi-factorial disease that results when insulin secretion from pancreatic beta cells can no longer compensate for insulin resistance in peripheral tissues. My research is focused on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate insulin secretion in both the healthy and the diabetic states.

For decades, scientists have been elucidating the mechanisms that couple glucose metabolism to the secretion of insulin from the beta cell. The €œtriggering pathway of insulin secretion has been well-studied and puts ATP at the centre of its control; however, recent studies have shown that reactive oxygen species (ROS) also play an important signalling role in amplifying insulin secretion, allowing maximal secretion in response to a glucose stimulus.

Insulin secretion over a 24 hour period is a highly dynamic and regulated process that includes phases of stimulated insulin secretion during the fed-state as well as phases of insulin secretion inhibition during the fasted-state; however, the mechanisms that control insulin secretion from the pancreatic beta cell over a 24 hour period are still incompletely understood.

My research program aims to identify novel metabolic and molecular mechanisms that control the dynamic daily cycles of insulin secretion from the pancreatic beta cell, and to determine how exposure to various risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes impacts these daily cycles of insulin secretion.