22161-Mastracci, Teresa

Teresa Mastracci, PHD

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology


Teresa Mastracci, PhD, was hired as the first independent investigator to commence innovative scientific research at the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute (IBRI) in the spring of 2016. In addition to her primary appointment at the IBRI, Mastracci holds is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at Indiana University School of Medicine. 

Mastracci completed her post-secondary education in Canada, earning her bachelor’s degree from the University of Guelph, and her PhD from the University of Toronto at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute. Mastracci moved on to postdoctoral studies at Columbia University and the Naomi Berrie Center for Diabetes Research in New York. Here she merged her interests in developmental biology and human disease by studying how the pancreatic insulin-producing beta cell develops and functions in the normal and diabetic context. In 2007, Mastracci was named the Naomi Berrie Fellow in Diabetes Research and was granted research support by the Russell Berrie Foundation. Subsequently in 2010, she was awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, which continued to support her career development and research. Together these fellowships were instrumental in launching Mastracci’s career in the field of diabetes research, and as a result she was recruited to Indiana University School of Medicine where she continued to grow her research.

At the IBRI, the Mastracci lab is focused on understanding how pathways that direct protein synthesis drive the development, differentiation and regeneration of the hormone-producing islet cells in the pancreas. This research is funded in part by a prestigious Career Development Award from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The research goal of the Mastracci lab is to discover pathways that can be exploited to create new treatments that provoke the regeneration of the insulin-producing beta cells, which are dysfunctional or destroyed in people with diabetes.

In 2017 Mastracci was named one of the top Ten Under 40 up & coming stars in Biopharma Research and Business by Genetic Engineering News and was recognized as one of the Indianapolis Business Journal’s Forty Under 40.

Titles & Appointments

  • Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
  • Education
    2006 PhD University Of Toronto
    2006 PHD University of Toronto
    2006 PHD University of Toronto
    1999 BS University Of Guelph
    1999 BS University Of Guelph
    1999 BSC University of Guelph
  • Research

    Diabetes is a disease characterized by the progressive loss of insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. Individuals with diabetes overcome this beta cell destruction or dysfunction by daily administration of exogenous insulin – a viable and long-standing therapy. However, the long-term complications associated with diabetes are never truly eliminated. Research efforts have therefore moved to the generation of therapeutics that could ultimately fix, not just treat, the beta cell loss. Work in the Mastracci lab uses the mouse and zebrafish model systems to determine how cells in the pancreas develop, differentiate, and regenerate. In particular, we are interested in understanding the signals that are required to produce a healthy pancreas and functional insulin-producing beta cells, with the goal of applying this knowledge to the generation of therapeutics for diabetes.

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