Maike Sander, MD

Director, Pediatric Diabetes Research Center (PDRC)

Professor, UCSD Departments of Pediatrics and Cellular and Molecular Medicine

UCSD Stem Cell Program

phone: 858-246-0843


Sander Lab website​


Dr. Sander is an expert in pancreatic stem cell biology with over twenty years of experience in medicine and diabetes research. After graduating with an M.D. from the University of Heidelberg Medical School in Germany, she conducted research at UC San Francisco. Prior to accepting her current position as Professor of Pediatrics and Cellular & Molecular Medicine at UC San Diego, Dr. Sander held faculty positions at Hamburg Medical School, Germany and the University of California, Irvine. In 2012, she was appointed Director of UC San Diego Pediatric Diabetes Research Center.

Dr. Sander is an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation, a member of the NIH-Beta Cell Biology Consortium and the recipient of the prestigious Grodsky Award from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). She also serves as a scientific reviewer for the JDRF, the National Institutes of Health, and numerous scientific journals.


The major focus of Dr. Sander’s research is to understand the molecular programs that control the formation and proper function of insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells. Her laboratory aims to identify strategies for generating replacement insulin-producing cells in order to develop novel treatments for diabetes.


Kopp, J.L., Sander M. (2014) New Insights Into the Cell Lineage of Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma: Evidence for Tumor Stem Cells in Premalignant Lesions? Gastroenterology, 146: 24-26.

Kanda, S., Ohmori, T., Taguchi, A., Kudo, K., Suzuki, Y., Sato, Y., Hino, S., Sander, M., Sugano, S., Nakao, M., Nishinakamura, R. Sall1 co-operates with Six2 to actively maintain nephron progenitors in the embryonic kidney (2014) J Am Soc Nephrol, ASN. 2013080896​.  

Benitah, S.A., Bracken, A., Dou, Y., Huangfu, D., Ivanova, N., Koseki, H., Laurent, L., Limd, D.A., Meshorer, E., Pombo, A., Sander, M., Xu, G.L. (2014) Stem cell epigenetics: looking forward. Cell Stem Cell, 14:706-9.​  

Shih, H.P., Sander, M. (2014) Pancreas Development Ex Vivo: Culturing Embryonic Pancreas Explants on Permeable Culture Inserts, with Fibronectin-Coated Glass Microwells, or Embedded in Three-Dimensional Matrigel™, In Kioussi, C. (ed.): Stem cells and Tissue repair. Springer, 229-237.

Taylor, B.L., Benthuysen, J.R., Sander, M. (2014) Postnatal beta cell proliferation and mass expansion is dependent on the transcription factor Nkx6.1. Diabetes, DB_140684.   

Zhao, X., Chen, Y., Zhu, Q., Huang, H., Teng, P., Zheng, K., Hu, X., Xie, B., Zhang, Z., Sander, M., Qiu, M. (2014) Control of astrocyte progenitor specification, migration and maturation by Nkx6. 1 homeodomain transcription factor. PLoS ONE, 9: e109171

Malhotra, G.K., Zhao, X., Edwards, E., Kopp, J.L., Naramura, M., Sander, M., Band, H., Band, V. (2014) The role of Sox9 in mouse mammary gland development and maintenance of mammary stem and luminal progenitor cells. BMC Dev Biol., 14:47.​    

Xie, R., Carrano, A.C., Sander, M. (2015) A systems view of epigenetic networks regulating pancreas development and beta-cell function. WIREs Syst Biol Med doi: 10.1002/wsbm.1287

DeVas, M.G., Kopp, J.L., Heliot, C., Sander, M., Cereghini, S., Hautmaitre, C. (2015) Hnf1b controls pancreas morphogenesis and generation of Ngn3+ endocrine progenitors. Development, 142:871-82Wang, A., Yue, F., Li, Y., Xie, R., Harper, T., Patel, N.A., Muth, K., Palmer, J., Qui, Y.,  

Wang, J., Lam, D.K., Raum, J.C., Stoffers, D.A., Ren, B., Sander, M. (2015) Epigenetic priming of enhancers predicts developmental competence of hESC-derived endodermal lineage intermediates. Cell Stem Cell, 16: 386-399.

Jörs S, Jeliazkova P, Ringelhan M, Thalhammer J, Dürl S, Ferrer J, Sander M, Heikenwalder M, Schmid RM, Siveke JT, Geisler F. (2015) Lineage fate of ductular reactions in liver injury and carcinogenesis, J Clin Invest. 2015 Apr 27. pii: 78585. doi: 10.1172/JCI78585; PMC25915586.​

Thelie, A., Desiderio, S., Hanotel, J., Quigley, I., Borromeo, M., Kricha, S., Lahaye, F., Croce, J., Cerda-Moya, G., Ordono-Fernandez, J., Bolle, B., Van Driessche, B., Sander, M., Pierani, A., Van Lint, C., Schubert, M., Lewis, K.J., Johnson, J., Kintner, C., Pieler, T., Henningfeld, K., Bellefroid, E., Van Campenhout, C. (2015) Prdm12 is an evolutionarily conserved determinant of spinal cord V1 interneuron cell fate acting downstream of Pax6 and through cross-repressive interactions with Dbx1 and Nkx6.1. Development, 142:3416-28.​

Font-Burgada, J., Shalapour, S., Ramaswamy, S., Hsueh, B., Rossell, D., Umemura, A., Taniguchi, K., Nakagawa, H., Valasek, M., Ye, L., Kopp, J.L., Sander, M., Carter, H., Deisseroth, K., Verma, I., Karin, M. (2015) Hybrid periportal hepatocytes regenerate the injured liver without giving rise to cancer. Cell, 162: 766-79.

Shih, H.P., Seymour, P.A., Patel, N.A., Xie, R., Wang, A., Liu, P.P., Yeo, G.W., Magnuson, M.A., Sander, M. (2015) A gene regulatory network cooperatively controlled by Pdx1 and Sox9 governs lineage allocation of foregut progenitor cells. Cell Reports, 13: 326–336.

Shih, H.P., Panlasigui, D., Cirulli, V., Sander, M. (2016) ECM signaling regulates collective cellular dynamics to control pancreas branching morphogenesis. Cell Reports, 14: 169–179.

Kopp, J.L., Grompe, M., Sander M. (2016) Stem cells versus plasticity in liver and pancreas regeneration. Nature Cell Biology, 18: 238–245.​