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Simona Chera

Associate Professor, NCMM Young Associate Investigator
  • E-mailSimona.Chera@uib.no
  • Phone+47 55 97 12 62
  • Visitor Address
    Barne- og ungdomssjukehuset (BUS1)
    Haukelandsbakken 15
    5021 Bergen
    Room 
    6110, 6th floor
  • Postal Address
    Postboks 7804
    5020 Bergen

Simona Chera obtained her PhD from Department of Genetics and Evolution, at the Faculty of Science, University of Geneva, in 2008, with a focus on cellular and molecular mechanisms acting in regeneration. Afterwards, she was a postdoctoral fellow in Prof. Pedro Herrera lab, characterizing the two age-dependent regenerative mechanisms involved in spontaneous murine pancreatic β-cell regeneration (Thorel et al. 2010, Nature and Chera et al. 2014, Nature). In March 2015, she moved to Bergen, as a postdoctoral fellow in Ræder lab, working on a project involving the differentiation of pancreatic β-cells from human induced pluripotent stem cells, derived from fibroblasts donated by patients with Mature Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY). She is now an Associate Professor at the Department of Clinical Science, University of Bergen and NCMM Young Associate Investigator. 

The main focus throughout her career has been the characterization of the cellular processes and molecular cues governing the balance between tissue regeneration and homeostasis. This has resulted in numerous publications.

In 2015 she received two prestigious grants: the Novo Nordisk Foundation Excellence Project for Endocrinology Research, for characterizing and reversing β-cell senescence and proliferation quiescence in monogenic diabetes; and two Young Talent Research Projects funded by the Research Council of Norway, aiming at characterizing the cellular and molecular basis of the gradual failure of insulin-producing β-cells in diabetes by using a novel in vivo strategy involving transplanted induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) derived from monogenic diabetes patients (MODY patients).

Selected publications
  • Chera, Simona; Herrera, Pedro L. 2016. Regeneration of pancreatic insulin-producing cells by in situ adaptive cell conversion. Current Opinion in Genetics and Development. 40: 1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.gde.2016.05.010
Journal articles
  • Furuyama, Kenichiro; Chera, Simona; van Gurp, Leon; Oropeza, Daniel; Ghila, Luiza; Damond, Nicolas; Vethe, Heidrun; Paulo, Joao A.; Joosten, Antoinette M.; Berney, Thierry; Bosco, Domenico; Dorrell, Craig; Grompe, Markus; Ræder, Helge; Roep, Bart O.; Thorel, Fabrizio; Herrera, Pedro L. 2019. Diabetes relief in mice by glucose-sensing insulin-secreting human α-cells. Nature. 567: 43-48. doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-0942-8
  • Berle, Magnus; Ghila, Luiza; Vethe, Heidrun; Chaudhry, Beenish Adeel; Garberg, Hilde Kristin; Beisland, Christian; Haaland, Øystein Ariansen; Oveland, Eystein; Halvorsen, Ole Johan; Davidsson, Thomas; Chera, Simona. 2018. Novel protein signatures suggest progression to muscular invasiveness in bladder cancer. PLoS ONE. 13:e0206475: 1-15. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0206475
  • Cigliola, Valentina; Ghila, Luiza; Thorel, Fabrizio; van Gurp, Leon; Baronnier, Delphine; Oropeza, Daniel; Gupta, Simone; Miyatsuka, Takeshi; Kaneto, Hideaki; Magnuson, Mark A; Osipovich, Anna B; Sander, Maike; Wright, Christopher EV; Thomas, Melissa K; Furuyama, Kenichiro; Chera, Simona; Herrera, Pedro L. 2018. Pancreatic islet-autonomous insulin and smoothened-mediated signalling modulate identity changes of glucagon+ α-cells. Nature Cell Biology. 20: 1267-1277. doi: 10.1038/s41556-018-0216-y
  • Chakravarthy, Harini; Gu, Xueying; Enge, Martin; Dai, Xiaoqing; Wang, Yong; Damond, Nicolas; Downie, Carolina; Liu, Kathy; Wang, Jing; Xing, Yuan; Chera, Simona; Thorel, Fabrizio; Quake, Stephen; Oberholzer, Jose; MacDonald, Patrick E.; Herrera, Pedro L.; Kim, Seung K. 2017. Converting adult pancreatic islet α cells into β cells by targeting both Dnmt1 and Arx. Cell Metabolism. 25: 622-634. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2017.01.009
  • Vethne, Heidrun; Bjørlykke, Yngvild; Ghila, Luiza; Paulo, Joao A.; Scholz, Hanne; Gygi, Steven P.; Chera, Simona; Ræder, Helge. 2017. Probing the missing mature β-cell proteomic landscape in differentiating patient iPSC-derived cells. Scientific Reports. 7:4780: 1-14. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-04979-w
  • Chera, Simona; Herrera, Pedro L. 2016. Regeneration of pancreatic insulin-producing cells by in situ adaptive cell conversion. Current Opinion in Genetics and Development. 40: 1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.gde.2016.05.010
  • Cigliola, Valentina; Thorel, Fabrizio; Chera, Simona; Herrera, Pedro L. 2016. Stress-induced adaptive islet cell identity changes. Diabetes, obesity and metabolism. 18: 87-96. doi: 10.1111/dom.12726

More information in national current research information system (CRIStin)

Recent publications (last 5 years):

  1. Vethe H, Ghila L, Hoareau L, Bjørlykke Y, Berle M, Haaland ØA, Hoareau L, Paulo J, Scholz H, Chera S, Ræder H. “Modulating Wnt signaling in human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived S7 cells” – Front. Endocrinol., 2019, 08 May doi: 10.3389/fendo.2019.00293
  2. Furuyama K, Chera S, van Gurp L, Damond N, Oropeza D, Ghila L, Vethe H, Paulo JA, Joosten AM, Berney T, Bosco D, Dorrel C, Grompe M, Ræder H, Roep BO, Thorel F and Herrera PL, Diabetes relief in mice by glucose-sensing insulin-secreting human a-cells, Nature 2019 567: 43–48
  3. Cigliola V, Ghila L, Thorel F, van Gurp L, Baronnier D, Gupta S, Miyatsuka T, Kaneto H, Magnuson MA, Osipovich AB, Sander M, Wright C, Thomas MK, Furuyama K, Chera S and Herrera PL, Pancreatic Islet-Autonomous Signals Modulate Identity Changes of Glucagon+ α-Cells, Nature Cell Biology 2018 Nov;20(11):1267-1277. doi: 10.1038/s41556-018-0216-y. PMID: 30361701
  4. Berle M, Ghila L, Vethe H, Chaudhry A, Garberg H, Beisland C, Haaland ØA, Oveland E, Halvorsen OJ, Davidsson T, Chera S. Novel protein signatures suggest progression to muscular invasiveness in bladder cancer. PLoS One 2018 Nov 12;13(11):e0206475. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0206475. PMID: 30419021
  5. Vethe H, Bjørlykke Y, Ghila LM, Paulo JA, Scholz H, Gygi SP, Chera S, Ræder H. Probing the missing mature β-cell proteomic landscape in differentiating patient iPSC-derived cells. Scientific Reports. 2017 Jul 6;7(1):4780. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-04979-w. PMID: 28684784 Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of Regeneration in Pancreas
  6. Chakravarthy H, Gu X, Enge M, Dai X, Wang Y, Damond N, Downie C, Liu K, Wang J, Xing Y, Chera S, Thorel F, Quake S, Oberholzer J, MacDonald PE, Herrera PL, Kim SK. Converting Adult Pancreatic Islet α Cells into β Cells by Targeting Both Dnmt1 and Arx, 2017 Cell Metabolism 25(3):622-634.
  7. Cigliola V, Thorel F, Chera S, Herrera PL. Stress-induced adaptive islet cell identity changes 2016 Diabetes Obes Metab. 2016 Sep;18 Suppl 1:87-96. doi: 10.1111/dom.12726.
  8. Chera S, Herrera PL. Regeneration of Pancreatic Insulin-Producing Cells by In Situ Adaptive Cell Conversion, 2016 Current Opinion in Genetics and Development 40:1-10, 10.1016/j.gde.2016.05.010
  9. Chera S, Baronnier-Caffé D, Ghila L, Cigliola V, Jensen JN, Gu G, Furuyama K, Thorel F, Gribble FM, Reimann F, Herrera PL. Diabetes recovery by age-dependent conversion of pancreatic δ- or α-cells into insulin producers 2014 Nature 514(7523):503-507 [Comment in Nat Rev Endocrinol. 2014: Diabetes: reprogrammed pancreatic δ-cells restore insulin production].