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Alejandro Caicedo, Ph.D.

General Information

Alejandro  Caicedo, Ph.D.


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  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish


  • Associate Professor of Medicine

Research Interests


Originally trained in sensory neurobiology (Caicedo and Roper, 2001, Science), I am now investigating the physiology of the pancreatic islet of Langerhans. My laboratory is interested in creating new experimental models to advance knowledge beyond its current limits. A major goal is to understand how hormone secretion from the pancreatic islet is orchestrated to regulate glucose homeostasis. Our recent focus has been to figure out how the islet is controlled by the autonomic nervous system (Rodriguez-Diaz et al., 2011, Nature Medicine; Rodriguez-Diaz et al., 2011, Cell Metabolism). Because investigating islets in the organism is very challenging, we have developed novel techniques to visualize islet structure and function in vivo (Speier et al., 2008, Nature Medicine; Rodriguez-Diaz et al., 2012, PNAS; Almaça et al, PNAS, in press). Armed with these tools, our findings are changing current models about autonomic and paracrine control of insulin secretion and will contribute to our understanding of how islet function fails during the natural history of diabetes.


Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology (MCE) study section.
Chair, Imaging the Beta Cell, 5th Workshop
“The interface between the nervous and the immune systems in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diabetes”,
Runner up, Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE),
“High resolution in vivo imaging of cell biology”,
Stanley Glaser Research Award


2001 Postdoctoral fellowship
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
1997 Ph.D.
University of Montpellier I
1991 Biologie-Diplom
University of Tbingen, Germany


  • Almaça J, Molina J, Arrojo e Drigo R, Abdulreda MH, Jeon WB, Berggren PO*, Caicedo A*, Nam HG*. Young capillary vessels rejuvenate aged pancreatic islets. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, in press. *Corresponding senior authors.
  • Molina J, Rodriguez-Diaz R, Fachado A, Jacques-Silva MC, Berggren PO, Caicedo A (2014). Control of insulin secretion by cholinergic signaling in the human pancreatic islet. Diabetes, 63:2714-2726.
  • Caicedo A (2013) Paracrine and autocrine interactions in the human islet: More than meets the eye. Semin Cell Dev Biol, 24:11-21
  • Rodriguez-Diaz R, Speier S, Molano RD, Formoso A, Gans I, Abdulreda MH, Cabrera O, Molina J, Fachado A, Ricordi C, Leibiger I, Pileggi A, Berggren PO, Caicedo A (2012) Noninvasive in vivo model demonstrating the effects of autonomic innervation on pancreatic islet function. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 109:21456-21461
  • Rodriguez-Diaz R, Dando R, Huang YA, Berggren PO, Roper SD, Caicedo A (2012) Real time detection of acetylcholine release from the human endocrine pancreas. Nature Protocols, 7:1015-23
  • Rodriguez-Diaz R, Dando R, Jaques-Silva MC, Fachado A, Molina J, Abdulreda MH, Ricordi C, Roper SD, Berggren PO, Caicedo A (2011) Alpha cells secrete acetylcholine as a non-neuronal paracrine signal priming human beta cell function. Nature Medicine, 17:888-892