She studies human stem cells

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Meri Firpo is a stem cell scientist at the University of Minnesota.

People say we already have adult stem cell therapies, so we don’t need to study embryonic cells. But that just isn’t so.

She and her colleagues at the Stem Cell Institute are trying to find treatments and cures for illnesses such as diabetes, Parkinson's, and heart disease.

Firpo's research focuses on diabetes. She's trying to create insulin-producing cells for transplant into patients with the disease. Watching embryonic stem cells develop into insulin-producing cells will help scientists understand diabetes better, and maybe lead to better treatments or even a cure.