Type 1 Diabetes Research
Joslin researchers spearhead the fight to predict, prevent, detect, treat and eventually cure the insulin-dependent form of diabetes that often strikes the young.
Thomas Serwold, Ph.D., who joined Joslin’s Immunobiology research section last year, talks about progress in understanding the attack that triggers type 1 diabetes.
An expert on adopting technology for managing type 1 diabetes, Howard Wolpert, M.D., answers questions about his lab’s Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) studies and the quest for an artificial pancreas.
In type 1 diabetes, the body relentlessly attacks and destroys its own insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells. But a study by Joslin scientists now has firmly established that some of these cells endure for many decades in a small group of people with the disease—offering clues to potential treatments for preserving and even restoring the crucial cell population.
When type 1 diabetes wipes out the body’s insulin-producing beta cells, how can they be replaced? That’s been a focus of research for decades for Gordon Weir, M.D., and his wife, Susan Bonner-Weir, Ph.D.
For transplanted beta cells, life is tough. Not only are the insulin-producing cells in a stranger’s body, tucked into the liver rather than the pancreas, they are a bit short on oxygen and blood, and they are often exposed to raised levels of glucose. Joslin scientists, however, have shown that the cells can protect themselves by actively adapting to their new homes—findings that may help to aid future transplants aimed at treating type 1 diabetes.