Brian Larsen, Graduate Student (Wellik Laboratory), Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School
The pancreas has two major functions: it makes insulin and glucagon to control glucose levels in the body and it makes digestive enzymes that are critical for the breakdown of nutrients in the intestine. This is an image of an embryonic mouse pancreas. Most of the cells in this image make digestive enzymes that are collected in branched tubules and delivered to the intestine. These cells are arranged in grape-like bunches called acini, here stained in pink. Pancreatic cancers that develop from these cells are among the most deadly forms of cancer.