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Mechanisms of and Therapies for Type 1 Diabetes

The major goal of these laboratories is to elucidate the immunological mechanisms underlying type 1 diabetes mellitus and to exploit the resultant knowledge to develop novel disease therapies.

The NOD mouse model, which spontaneously develops an autoimmune disease strikingly similar to human type 1 diabetes, is employed to investigate the immunology and genetics of leukocyte invasion into the pancreatic islets and the consequent destruction of b cells. Engineered mouse models are also used extensively to highlight particular facets of pathophysiology.

Studies on diabetes patients are aimed at developing methods to permit better prediction of disease initiation as well as more accurate monitoring of its progression or reversal. The genetics of human diabetes is also studied to aid dissection of disease mechanisms. A certain number of pilot clinical trials to prevent, halt or monitor type 1 diabetes are currently in progress.

This section’s efforts constitute a broad bench-to-bedside-back-to-bench approach, and exploit a number of cutting-edge technologies.

Genetics, genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics, imaging, immunomodulation, bioenginering, gene-targeted mice, CHIPs, Treg cells and clinical trials are all part of its working vocabulary.