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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.


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; PMC4715768.

Vinckier, N., Wang, J., Sander, M. (2016) Pancreatic differentiation from human pluripotent stem cells. In Ulrich, H. (ed.): Working with Stem Cells - Quick and easy methodologies and applications. Springer, 257-275.

Kopp, J.L., Grompe, M., Sander M. (2016) Stem cells versus plasticity in liver and pancreas regeneration. Nature Cell Biology, 18: 238–245; PMID26911907.

Fox, R.G., Lytle, N.K., Jaquish, V.D., Park, D.F., Ito, T., Bajaj, J., Koechlein, S.C., Zimdahl, B., Yano, M., Kopp, J.L., Kritzik, M., Sicklick, J., Sander, M., Grandgenett, M.P., Hollingsworth, A.M., Shibata, S., Pizzo, D., Valasek, M., Sasik, R., Scadeng, M., Okano, H., Kim, Y., MacLeod, R.A., Lowy, M.A., Reya, T. (2016) Image based detection and targeting of therapy resistance in pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Nature, 534:407-11; PMC4998062.

Wortham, M., Sander, M. (2016) High-T gives beta cells a boost. Cell Metabolism, 23: 761-763; PMC27166938.

Barrionuevo, F.J., Hurtado A., Kim G-J, Real, F.M., Bakkali, M., Kopp, J.L., Sander, M., Scherer, G., Burgos, M., Jiménez, R. (2016) Sox9 and Sox8 protect the adult testis from male-to-female genetic reprogramming and complete degeneration. eLife, 5: e15635; PMC4945155.

Wortham, M., Sander, M. (2016) Mechanisms of β-cell functional adaptation to changes in workload. Diabetes Obes Metab 18 (Suppl. 1), 78—86; PMC5021190.

Benthuysen, J.R., Carrano, A.C., Sander, M. (2016) Advances in β-cell replacement and regeneration strategies for treating diabetes. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 126:3651-3660; PMID27694741.

Ediger, B., Hee-Wong, L., Juliana, C., Groff, D., Williams, L., Dominguez, G., Taylor, B.L., Walp, E., Kameswaran, V., Yang, J., Liu, C., Hunter, C., Kaestner, K.H., Najo, A., Li, C., Sander, M., Sussel, L., Won, K.J., May, C., Stoffers, D. (2017) Ldb1 maintains the terminally differentiated state of pancreatic β-cells. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 127:215-229; PMC5199701.

Zeng, C., Mulas, F., Sui, Y., Guan, T., Miller, N., Tan, Y., Liu, F., Jin, W., Carrano, A.C., Huising, M.O., Shirihai, O.S., Yeo, G.W., Sander, M. (2017) Pseudotemporal ordering of single cells reveals metabolic control of postnatal beta-cell proliferation. Cell Metabolism, 25:1160-1175. 

Carrano, A.C., Mulas, F., Zeng, C., Sander, M. (2017) Interrogating islets in health and disease with single-cell technologies. Molecular Metabolism, 6: 991-1001.

Kopp, J.L., Dubois, C.L., Schaeffer, D.F., Samani, A., Taghizadeh, F., Cowan, R.W., Rhim, A.D., Stiles, B.L., Valasek, M., Sander M. (2017) Loss of PTEN and activation of Kras synergistically induce formation of intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasia from pancreatic ductal cells in mice. Gastroenterology, doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2017.12.007.

Lee, A., Dubois, C.L., Sarai, K., Zarei, S., Schaeffer, D.F., Sander M., Kopp, J.L. (2018) Cell of origin affects tumor development and phenotype in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Gut, doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2017-314426.

Benthuysen, J.R., Wortham, M., Wallace, M., Savas, J.N., Mulas, F., Divakaruni, A.S., Liu, F., Albert, V., Taylor, B.L., Sui, Y., Saez, E., Murphy, A.N., Yates, J.R. III, Metallo, C.M., Sander, M. (2018) Integrated in vivo quantitative proteomics and nutrient tracing reveals age-related metabolic rewiring of pancreatic β-cell function. Cell Metabolism, in revision.