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 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, Simona 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 Professor at the Department of Clinical Science, University of Bergen and NCMM 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.
Recently, she received several 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
- 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).
- RONO2019 UEFISCDI collaborative grant with A. M. Vacaru at the Institute of biology and cellular pathology in Bucarest, to investigate therapeutic options to boost stress endurance and regeneration in β-cells.
- Renewal grant (2020) from Research Council of Norway
- In 2021, Simona received the Novo Nordisk Foundation Ascending Investigator Grant to continue her work on monogenic diabetes.
- Legøy TA*, Vethe H*, Abadpour S, Strand BL, Scholz H, Paulo JA, Ræder H, Ghila L, Chera S. Encapsulation boosts islet-cell signature in differentiating human induced pluripotent stem cells via integrin signaling. Scientific Reports 2020 Jan 15;10(1):414. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-57305-x [BioRxiv 2019 Oct 04, preprint doi: 10.1101/791442]
- Legøy TA, Mathisen AF, Salim Z, Vethe H, Bjørlykke Y, Abadpour S, Paulo JA, Scholz H, Raeder H, Ghila L, Chera S. In vivo Environment Swiftly Restricts Human Pancreatic Progenitors Toward Mono-Hormonal Identity via a HNF1A/HNF4A Mechanism. Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology 2020 Feb 25;8:109. eCollection 2020. doi: 10.3389/fcell.2020.00109
- Legøy TA, Ghila L, Vethe H, Abadpour S, Mathisen AF, Paulo JA, Scholz H, Raeder H, Chera S. In vivo hyperglycemia exposure elicits distinct period-dependent effects on human pancreatic progenitor differentiation, conveyed by oxidative stress. Acta Physiologica (Oxf) 2020 Apr;228(4):e13433. Epub 2020 Jan 8. doi: 10.1111/apha.13433. PMID:31872528
- 2019. Tissue repair brakes: A common paradigm in the biology of regeneration: Concise review. Stem Cells. 38: 330-339. doi: 10.1002/stem.3118
- 2019. Diabetes relief in mice by glucose-sensing insulin-secreting human α-cells. Nature. 567: 43-48. doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-0942-8
- 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
- 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
- (2022). Spatial Environment Affects HNF4A Mutation-Specific Proteome Signatures and Cellular Morphology in hiPSC-Derived β-Like Cells. Diabetes. 862-869.
- (2022). Mapping Proteome Changes in Microsatellite Stable, Recurrent Colon Cancer Reveals a Significant Immune System Signature. Cancer Genomics & Proteomics. 130-144.
- (2021). Stage-specific transcriptomic changes in pancreatic α-cells after massive β-cell loss. BMC Genomics.
- (2021). Chronically elevated exogenous glucose elicits antipodal effects on the proteome signature of differentiating human ipsc-derived pancreatic progenitors. International Journal of Molecular Sciences.
- (2021). A Method for Encapsulation and Transplantation into Diabetic Mice of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (hiPSC)-Derived Pancreatic Progenitors. Methods in molecular biology.
- (2020). The core clock transcription factor BMAL1 drives circadian β-cell proliferation during compensatory regeneration of the endocrine pancreas. Genes & Development. 1650-1665.
- (2020). In vivo environment swiftly restricts human pancreatic progenitors toward mono-hormonal identity via a HNF1A/HNF4A mechanism. Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology. 1-14.
- (2020). Encapsulation boosts islet-cell signature in differentiating human induced pluripotent stem cells via integrin signalling . Scientific Reports. 1-16.
- (2020). Bioinformatic analyses of miRNA-mRNA signature during hiPSC differentiation towards insulin-producing cells upon HNF4α mutation. Biomedicines. 1-20.
- (2019). The effect of WnT pathway modulators on human iPSC-derived pancreatic beta cell maturation. Frontiers in Endocrinology. 1-13.
- (2019). Reprogrammed cells display distinct proteomic signaturesAssociated with colony morphology variability. Stem Cells International. 1-16.
- (2019). In vivo hyperglycemia exposure elicits distinct period-dependent effects on human pancreatic progenitor differentiation, conveyed by oxidative stress. Acta Physiologica. 1-16.
- (2019). Encapsulation boosts islet-cell signature in differentiating human induced pluripotent stem cells via integrin signalling. bioRxiv - the preprint server for biology.
- (2019). Diabetes relief in mice by glucose-sensing insulin-secreting human α-cells. Nature. 43-48.
- (2018). Pancreatic islet-autonomous insulin and smoothened-mediated signalling modulate identity changes of glucagon+ α-cells. Nature Cell Biology. 1267-1277.
- (2018). Novel protein signatures suggest progression to muscular invasiveness in bladder cancer. PLOS ONE. 1-15.
- (2017). Probing the missing mature β-cell proteomic landscape in differentiating patient iPSC-derived cells. Scientific Reports. 1-14.
- (2017). Converting adult pancreatic islet α cells into β cells by targeting both Dnmt1 and Arx. Cell Metabolism. 622-634.
- (2021). Islet transplantation tolerance in animals with defined histocompatibility and diabetes. bioRxiv - the preprint server for biology.
- (2021). 402.2: High Glucose Concentration Increases KATP Channel Activity but Suppresses Mitochondrial Respiration Ability in Insulin-producing Cells Regenerated From Stem Cells. Transplantation. S27-S27.
- (2021). Glucose during in vitro pancreatic beta cells regeneration: friends or for?
- (2019). Tissue repair brakes: A common paradigm in the biology of regeneration: Concise review. Stem Cells. 330-339.
- (2016). Stress-induced adaptive islet cell identity changes. Diabetes, obesity and metabolism. 87-96.
- (2016). Regeneration of pancreatic insulin-producing cells by in situ adaptive cell conversion. Current Opinion in Genetics and Development. 1-10.