Professor of medicine at Columbia University Domenico Accili says he can coax endocrine cells in the gut into insulin-producing cells to reverse diabetes. If the cells in the gut reverse diabetes, it would be a game-changer for the chronic disease.
Accili found in the gut, proteins called FOXO which plays a dramatic role in the cells that make serotonin (neurochemical associated with depression). Accili also found, if you turn off FOXO, gut serotonin-producing cells start producing insulin in response to high blood sugar. Exactly the way beta cells work in a healthy pancreas. He is currently searching for a compound that will trigger the same effect in humans. Accili is co-founder of Forkhead Biotherapeutics, therefore he hopes to introduce a treatment by 2022.