Personal Details

Perla Cota
PhD Student - Beta cell development and regeneration

Building/Room: Campus Neuherberg, building 3620, room 034


Project Description

Beta cells from diabetic patients are constantly under a glucotoxic environment (stress) that leads to beta cell death as well as dedifferentiation of the remaining cells. In hyperglycemic mice, removing the stressful environment results in redifferentiation of immature beta cells into mature functional insulin-producing cells. Along this line, my project focuses on unveiling new molecular mechanisms of de- and re-differentiation states of β-cells in human. Furthermore, I will combine human islet biology and targeted pharmacological therapy to restore the function of dedifferentiated human β-cells. Thus, my project will shed light into novel therapeutic approaches for treatment of diabetes.

Academic and Research Activities

March 2019-Present- PhD student, Helmholtz  Zentrum München, Institute of Diabetes and Regeneration Research.

2011-2014 - MSc. Biomedical Engineering University of Calgary, AB Canada. Thesis: “Transdifferentiation of Fibroblasts into Chondrocytes”

2005-2011- B.Sc. Biotechnology and Genomics, Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon (UANL), NL, Mexico. Thesis: “The Role of Histone Acetylase 5 in processes of Learning and Memory”


1. Perla Cota, Summer A. Helmi, Charlie Hsu and Derrick E. Rancourt. Cytokine Directed Chondroblast Trans-Differentiation: JAK Inhibition Facilitates Direct Reprogramming of Fibroblasts to Chondroblasts. Cells 2020, 9(1), 191;

2. Salinno C, Cota P, Bastidas-Ponce A, Tarquis-Medina M, Lickert H, Bakhti. β-Cell Maturation and Identity in Health and Disease. M.Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Oct 30;20(21). pii: E5417. doi: 10.3390/ijms20215417. Review.

3. Rosales-Cruzaley E1, Cota-Elizondo PA, Sánchez D, Lapizco-Encinas BH. Sperm cells manipulation employing dielectrophoresis. Bioprocess Biosyst Eng. 2013 Oct;36(10):1353-62. doi: 10.1007/s00449-012-0838-6. Epub 2012 Oct 20.

4. Peleg S, Sananbenesi F, Zovoilis A, Burkhardt S, Bahari-Javan S, Agis-Balboa RC, Cota P, Wittnam JL, Gogol-Doering A, Opitz L, Salinas-Riester G, Dettenhofer M, Kang H, Farinelli L, Chen W, Fischer A. Altered histone acetylation is associated with age-dependent memory impairment in mice. Science. 2010 May 7;328(5979):753-6. doi: 10.1126/science.1186088. Erratum in: Science. 2010 Jun 25;328(5986):1634.