Julie Sneddon, PhD

Asst Professor In Residence
Diabetes Center
+1 415 502-3380
Research Overview: 

The primary focus of our laboratory is pancreatic development and Type I Diabetes, and we employ the tools of stem cell biology, developmental biology, genomics, and tissue engineering.

One key goal of regenerative biology is the generation of functional cells to replace those missing or lost in disease. These cells of defined function, however, such as insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells, exist in animals only as part of a larger organ composed of a complex and incompletely defined mixture of cells. The interactions among the cells in this mixture are critical for the function of the individual cell types. For example, beta cells isolated from the pancreas and transferred to culture rapidly lose their ability to release insulin in response to glucose. Furthermore, widespread ablation of non-epithelial cells in the pancreas significantly compromises beta cell production and function. Thus far, however, the identities and specific functions of these non-epithelial cell types remain largely unknown.

In our laboratory, we aim to understand the underlying biology of the cellular microenvironment, including the cellular diversity and lineage relationships of the non-epithelial compartment of the pancreas in the context of organogenesis, adult organ function, and disease. A deeper understanding of the identity and biology of non-epithelial cell types within the pancreas and other organs will enable a more directed and efficient attempt at replacing lost cell and organ function via regenerative medicine.

Primary Thematic Area: 
Developmental & Stem Cell Biology
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Tissue / Organ Biology & Endocrinology
Research Summary: 
The niche in pancreatic development and disease



Beta Living through Alpha Cells.

Cell stem cell

Patzek S, Sneddon JB

Pancreatic development: one cell at a (pseudo)time.

The EMBO journal

Liu Z, Sneddon JB

Lineage dynamics of murine pancreatic development at single-cell resolution.

Nature communications

Byrnes LE, Wong DM, Subramaniam M, Meyer NP, Gilchrist CL, Knox SM, Tward AD, Ye CJ, Sneddon JB

Expansion of hedgehog disrupts mesenchymal identity and induces emphysema phenotype.

The Journal of clinical investigation

Wang C, Reyes de Mochel NS, Christenson SA, Cassandras M, Moon R, Brumwell AN, Byrnes LE, Li A, Yokosaki Y, Shan P, Sneddon JB, Jablons D, Lee PJ, Matthay MA, Chapman HA, Peng T

Stem Cell Therapies for Treating Diabetes: Progress and Remaining Challenges.

Cell stem cell

Sneddon JB, Tang Q, Stock P, Bluestone JA, Roy S, Desai T, Hebrok M