From the discovery of Pdx1, the first master gene of pancreatic development, to the most recent findings on the role of microRNAs in beta cell homeostasis, the last fifteen years have seen an unprecedented advance in our understanding of the precise development and organization of the many different cell types that make up the pancreas. It is now widely acknowledged that the therapeutic differentiation of stem cells into pancreatic cells is an ambitious endeavor that will not succeed without a thorough understanding of the molecular processes underlying the native development of the organ. This book, aimed at experts and students alike, offers a comprehensive review of the state of the art in both pancreatic development and regeneration. The many strategies to differentiate adult and embryonic stem cells into pancreatic beta cells are also discussed in the context of potential therapeutic interventions for type I diabetes.

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