Education & Textbooks

By Md. Shahidul Islam

Publisher : Springer


ABOUT Md. Shahidul Islam

Md. Shahidul Islam
Md. Shahidul Islam, M.D., Ph.D. Associate Professor Department of Clinical Sciences and Education Karolinska Institutet Stockholm South Hospital, Research Center, 3rd Floor
S-11883 Stockholm
Sweden Tel: +46

Dr. Islam is associate professor, pr More...



This book is a unique and thoughtful blend of critical background information and advances made in a multitude of areas of contemporary islet research.

It is an essential reference book, the first of its kind in many years, for professionals as well as for the beginners interested in the study of islet physiology and diabetes. The book is unique in its breadth: it deals with anatomy, histology, ultra-structure, evolution and comparative anatomy, imaging, developmental biology, programming, apoptosis, mitochondrial function, metabolism, cellular signaling, electrophysiology, oscillation of hormone secretion, islets of model animals, immunology, proteomics, regenerative medicine, clinical advances, islet transplantation, and finally islet tumors. Individual chapters contributed by over a hundred experts and enthusiasts, not only provide a balanced view of the recent advances made in the respective fields, but also provide directions and thoughts for future research. Thanks to vivid and colorful illustrations, tables and sketches, the book as a whole, and the individual chapters make reading a pleasant experience. It is a valuable compilation that one would love to possess personally and buy as a present to a colleague.

When new fellows join my lab, I give them some reading materials so that they can orient themselves in their assignment in a new field. When fellows leave my lab, some after writing their dissertations, I prefer to give them a book as a symbolic present. I was longing for a book that contained something on more or less everything about the islets. At the same time, I wished it contained information as recent as possible. There are a few such books in the market but they are pretty outdated. I started picking islets myself from October 1990, when I joined the Rolf Luft Center, Karolinska Institutet. Over the years my fascination for islet research remained high. Since last year, I felt a stronger urge to do more for these mysterious and hidden mini-organs that are directly or indirectly involved in the pathogenesis of all forms of diabetes that affects ~ 250 million people in the world. After I launched the Islets ( and founded the Islet Society (, there was a momentum that could be utilized to creatie something equally meaningful i.e. this book. The idea cracked in September 2008. Starting September 19, 2008, I contacted en estimated 90% of the authors who published anything on the islets during 2007-2008, and who could be traced from the internet. I asked them to propose the title of one chapter that they would like to see in this book, and to propose the name of potential author(s) who could contribute the chapter. This bottom-up approach tuned the final contents of the book to the need of its potential users. The authors who contributed the chapter are understandably the ones who hade time, competence and interest to write broad and balanced overviews of the backgrounds and advances in their respective areas of research. Together, they spent thousands of hours to do the necessary research to put together their chapters and to include in these their own views, as well as directions for the future. All but three chapters went through time-consuming anonymous peer review processes. My communications with the authors and referees were smooth and effective. The commitments and the enthusiasm of the authors kept us all steady on the track. The only chapter that was not delivered in time was my own that was completed on July 12, 2009. In this book one will find topics on a variety of aspects of the islets and the topics are ordered in a logical way. The anatomy, development, evolution, histology, ultra-structure, regulation of hormone secretion, electrophysiology, mathematical modeling, intracellular signaling mechanisms, apoptosis, mitochondrial functions, islet transplantation, mechanisms of immune destruction and prospects for regenerative medicine are examples of topics that have been included in this book. But it is by no means complete. For instance, I could not persuade any one to contribute a chapter on islet amyloid polypeptide and amyloids. By the time the book reaches the readers, other exciting new areas may emerge in this fascinating field of research. Readers will benefit maximum if they take the contents of this book as starting points, take everything they read with a pinch of salt, reflect, and do their own research into the respective subject matters. This is what active learning is. “A man would do nothing, if he waited until he could do it so well that no one would find any fault with what he has done”- Cardinal Newman. There are certainly some mistakes that I am not aware of. Prospective readers may see this book as a beta version and register the bugs at, so that they can be fixed in the next (beta) version. I admire the authors who have put their hearts and minds into their respective chapters. Other potential authors, amongst them, Susan Bonner-Weir, and Michael Dabrowski, to name a few, could not contribute a chapter, but helped out by recommending others who did contribute. I am thankful to the reviewers whose comments were extremely helpful for making decisions and revisions. Thanks to Melania Ruiz who handled the practical aspects so efficiently. Thanks to our near and dear ones who perhaps did not receive enough attention because of our intensive engagement with the writing, but were still tolerant and supportive. Finally, I am grateful to the Karolinska Institute, my alma mater, for ensuring the infrastructure that supports creativity. The preface was written on a boat, as it was cruising her way across the beautiful archipelago that symbolizes islets so well. Date: July 18, 2009 Place. Somewhere between Stockholm and Helsinki, on board Silja Serenade.

“A very timely book on the Islet of Langerhans that coincides with the realization that pancreatic ß-cell failure is key to all forms of diabetes mellitus and research in the field is exploding. It contains very thoughtful chapters, each by renown experts in their field, and tackles the complexity of this micro-organ in health and disease very comprehensively and thoughtfully. It will likely become a Reference for years to come for basic researchers, clinicians and students interested is diabetes research” Marc Prentki, PhD, Professor of Nutrition and Biochemistry, Canada Research Chair in, Diabetes and Metabolism, MDRC Director

”The pancreatic islet is a complex mini-organ whose dysfunction is critical in all forms of diabetes. This book provides a comprehensive review of the molecular and cellular processes in islet development, gene expression, and physiology and reviews how a better understanding of the pancreatic islet will advance efforts to develop new therapeutic approaches for diabetes. This book should be quite useful for anyone interested in the pancreatic islet or diabetes. Alvin C. Powers, M.D., Joe C. Davis Chair in Biomedical Science, Professor of Medicine, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, Director, Vanderbilt Diabetes Center, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA

"This book allows you to enjoy an adventurous and instructive guided tour in the archipelago of the islets of Langerhans. A team of expert and enthusiastic explorers will not only conduct the voyager through almost all niches of this complex and fascinating environment, but also provide him with clues and keys for future exploration of still hidden sites". Prof. Pellegrino Masiello, Dept. of Experimental Pathology, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.

"The growing prevalence of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes make islet cell biology a critical concern for a wide range of scientists and health professionals. From anatomy and developmental biology, through islet physiology and biochemistry, to issues of immunology and transplantation, this book is a terrific resource." Jonathan M.W.Slack, Ph.D., F.Med.Sci., Director, Stem Cell Institute, University of Minnesota, MTRF, 2001 6th Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

"One will find updated information on almost every essential aspect of islet research in this book including emerging new views on the ultrastructure of rodent and human islets; the fundamentals of nutrient-sensing mechanisms and insights gathered from mathematical modeling; structure/function of islets of animal models of diabetes; immunopathogenesis; and new insights into new potential avenues for clinical intervention. A total of thirty four chapters providing a wealth of information on pancreatic islet structure/function in both physiology and pathology." Pere Santamaria, M.D., Ph.D., Julia McFarlane Diabetes Research Centre, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, 3330 Hospital Dr. N.W., Calgary, Alberta, T2N 4N1, Canada

“It looks very comprehensive and covers all current areas of interest and includes chapters written by world renowned contributors - very nice!” Matthias von Herrath, MD, Professor and Director, Center for Type 1 Diabetes Research, La jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology

“This book will be welcomed by islet researchers and clinicians interested in the latest developments and theories from which new therapeutics for diabetes can emerge”. Martha Pavlakis, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Medical Director, Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA

“The field of islet biology is assuming increasing importance with the recognition that b-cell dysfunction is a critical feature of type II diabetes. Improving b-cell function and/or b-cell mass may be the best approach to treating diabetes. Thus, the publication of a book covering so many aspects of this field is timely.” Fred Levine, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, Burnham Institute for Medical Research, Director, Sanford Children's Health Research Center