For Scientists Research Information Alumni Connection

Rene Maehr, Ph.D.

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is the result of an autoimmune destruction of insulin producing, pancreatic beta cells. The events leading to the disease have usually occurred long before diagnosis and are based on complex interactions between genes and the environment. The currently available rodent models for type 1 diabetes can only represent a limited number of patients leaving open the question how many different types of T1D exist. We propose to model T1D by using key cell populations differentiated from human pluripotent stem cells. To this end, my main research interest lies the generation of an autoimmune prone immune system from patient specific induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. The long term goal is to recapitulate the disease in a patient specific manner and to identify novel treatment strategies.