Defective insulin secretion is a hallmark of all forms of diabetes. Whereas Type 1 diabetes has long been known to result from the immune-mediated destruction of β-cells, Type 2 diabetes appears to involve both loss of β-cell mass and glucose sensitivity in the face of extrapancreatic insulin resistance. We summarize here the proceedings of a Biochemical Society Focused Meeting, held at the St Thomas campus of King's College London in December 2007, which highlighted recent research advances targeting the β-cell.

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