Guo Lab


At the clinical onset of type 1 diabetes (T1D), human patients still have some functional beta cell mass remaining. If we could control autoimmunity against beta cells, T1D may be cured by increasing the remaining β cell mass to restore normoglycemia. The goal of current research in my laboratory is to develop therapeutic approaches to treating T1D by ameliorating autoimmunity and by promoting beta cell survival and regeneration.

Our current research interests are focused on:

  1. Investigating human beta cell survival and regeneration in humanized mouse models with human islet grafts.
  2. Identifying non-coding RNAs as biomarkers to detect beta cell loss and to monitor the outcome of treatment in nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice, a mouse model of human T1D and in humanized mice with human islet grafts.
  3. Understanding therapeutically relevant mechanisms of modulating the inflammatory response and stimulating beta cell regeneration in NOD mice.
  4. Targeting G protein-coupled receptors using small molecular agonists alone and in combination with dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-IV) inhibitors to stimulate beta cell regeneration. 


Contact Information for Guo Lab:

Zhiguang Guo, MD, PhD 

The Sanford Project, Sanford Research
Associate Professor
Department of Pediatrics and Department of Surgery
Sanford School of Medicine
The University of South Dakota
Sanford Research Center
2301 East 60th Street North
Sioux Falls, SD 57104
Phone 605-312-6030 


Lab News

July 2016, Regan Roat, a USD MD, PhD candidate in the Gao lab, successfully defended her doctoral thesis entitled “Circulating Micro-RNA as a Biomarker of Early β Cell Loss in Type 1 Diabetes. Regan also recently attended the 76th Scientific Session of American Diabetes Association in New Orleans where she represented a research poster on her work in the Gao lab at Sanford Research entitled “Non-coding RNA expression related to human beta cell ER stress and death in humanized obese and diabetic mice”.

June 2016, Dr. Guo’s lab recently published a study entitled “Activation of GPR119 Stimulates Human Beta Cell Replication and Neogenesis in Humanized Mice with Functional Human Islets” in the Journal of Diabetes Research. Co-authors on the research publication included Ansarullah, Colette Free, Jenica Christopherson, Quanhai Chen, Jie Gao, Chengyang Liu, Ali Naji, Alex Rabinovitch, and Zhiguang Guo

November 2015, Dr. Zhiguang Guo attended the Joint Conference of Cell Transplant Society, International Pancreas and Islet Association and International Xenotransplantation Association in Melbourne, Australia. At these meetings, he gave 3 oral presentations on his type 1 diabetes work using humanized mouse model with islet grafts.