Francis Lynn

Dr. Francis Lynn obtained his PhD in physiology from the University of British Columbia (UBC) in 2003. Following this, he moved to San Francisco supported by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Post-Doctoral and Advanced Post-Doctoral Fellowships with Dr. Michael German.

Lynn was recruited to the Child and Family Research Institute at UBC in 2009, where he is an assistant professor in the Department of Surgery. The Goepel Family/Canadian Diabetes Association Young Investigator Award in Islet Cell Development facilitated his move back to Canada. He is the first-ever Alan Permutt Career Development Awardee (JDRF) and a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar.

Lynn’s work has lead to the publication of 29 articles, which have collectively been cited more than 1,400 times in top journals including Diabetes, PNAS, Nature and Nature Medicine. The Lynn lab currently has eight members and is funded by grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, JDRF, and the Stem Cell Network. Research is focused on understanding how we can improve cell-based therapies for diabetes by taking cues from embryonic development. For more information, visit

Recent Publications

Sabatini PV, Krentz NA, Zarrouki B, Westwell-Roper CY, Nian C, Uy RA, Shapiro AM, Poitout V, Lynn FC. Npas4 Is a Novel Activity-Regulated Cytoprotective Factor in Pancreatic β-Cells. Diabetes. 2013 May 8. [Epub ahead of print] (PubMed abstract)

Tennant BR, Robertson AG, Kramer M, Li L, Zhang X, Beach M, Thiessen N, Chiu R, Mungall K, Whiting CJ, Sabatini PV, Kim A, Gottardo R, Marra MA, Lynn FC, Jones SJ, Hoodless PA, Hoffman BG. Identification and analysis of murine pancreatic islet enhancers. Diabetologia. 2013 Mar;56(3):542-52. doi: 10.1007/s00125-012-2797-5. Epub 2012 Dec 14. (PubMed abstract)

Kim H, Toyofuku Y, Lynn FC, Chak E, Uchida T, Mizukami H, Fujitani Y, Kawamori R, Miyatsuka T, Kosaka Y, Yang K, Honig G, van der Hart M, Kishimoto N, Wang J, Yagihashi S, Tecott LH, Watada H, German MS. Serotonin regulates pancreatic beta cell mass during pregnancy. Nat Med. 2010 Jul;16(7):804-8. doi: 10.1038/nm.2173. Epub 2010 Jun 27. (PubMed abstract)

Smith SB, Qu HQ, Taleb N, Kishimoto NY, Scheel DW, Lu Y, Patch AM, Grabs R, Wang J, Lynn FC, Miyatsuka T, Mitchell J, Seerke R, Désir J, Vanden Eijnden S, Abramowicz M, Kacet N, Weill J, Renard ME, Gentile M, Hansen I, Dewar K, Hattersley AT, Wang R, Wilson ME, Johnson JD, Polychronakos C, German MS. Rfx6 directs islet formation and insulin production in mice and humans. Nature. 2010 Feb 11;463(7282):775-80. doi: 10.1038/nature08748. (PubMed abstract)

Lynn FC. Meta-regulation: microRNA regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism. Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2009 Nov;20(9):452-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2009.05.007. Epub 2009 Sep 30. (PubMed abstract)