Teresa Mastracci, PhD
Assistant Investigator, IBRI Diabetes Center
Teresa Mastracci, PhD, was hired as the first independent investigator to commence innovative scientific research at the Institute in the spring of 2016. Dr. Mastracci is a molecular and developmental biologist who comes to the IBRI from the Indiana University School of Medicine where she was an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research, and the Center for Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases.
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 contexts. 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 prestigious Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), 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 the Indiana University School of Medicine where she continued to grow her research.
Currently, Mastracci is focused on understanding how pathways that direct protein synthesis drive the development and differentiation of the hormone-producing islet cells in the pancreas. This research is funded in part by a prestigious Career Development Award from the JDRF. The research goal of Mastracci's lab is to discover pathways that can be exploited to create new treatments that provoke the regeneration of the insulin-producing beta cells that are dysfunctional or destroyed in people with diabetes.
In addition to her primary appointment at the IBRI, Mastracci holds an adjunct Assistant Professor faculty position in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Indiana University School of Medicine. In 2017, Mastracci was recognized as one of the Indianapolis Business Journal's Forty Under 40 rising stars.
Studying the signals that permit pancreas development and beta cell regeneration, with the goal to generate novel therapeutics for type 1 diabetes.