Throughout National Diabetes Month, we will be sharing developments into Joslin’s unique approach for a permanent cure for type 1 diabetes. Our mission is to prevent, treat and cure diabetes so that one day there will be a world free of diabetes and its complications.
Researchers at Joslin Diabetes Center are hard at work uncovering the mysteries behind the autoimmunity responsible for type 1 diabetes and the pathways to restore functioning beta cells.
Aldo Rossini, M.D. is the senior advisor of a collaboration between four autoimmunity scientists and a beta cell researcher. Together they are coming up with a collaborative approach to curing type 1 diabetes. During his research career, he has studied the mechanisms involved in loss of immune tolerance that occurs in type 1 diabetes and strategies to reestablish immune tolerance to prevent the disease.
Stephan Kissler, Ph.D., studies the genes involved in type 1 diabetes, which are spread over more than 50 genomic regions. But little is known about specific gene variants and how they impact the immune system. His goal is to uncover key defects in immune regulation that could be targeted to treat or cure type 1 diabetes.
Myra Lipes, M.D., discovered that when people with type 1 diabetes suffer a heart attack, they have a greater chance of developing further heart damage, caused by factors triggering an autoimmune response against cardiac muscle tissue. Her research is focused on how to selectively stop this detrimental response.
Jason Gaglia, M.D., M.M.Sc., is harnessing the power of magnetic nanoparticle-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MNP-MRI) to visualize changes in the pancreas. This technique holds tremendous promise for studying the disease process and the effect of new diabetes treatments.
Thomas Serwold, Ph.D., focuses on resetting the immune system by removing T cells that damage beta cells and replacing them with T cells that know to leave beta cells alone. He can also zero in on the blood cells that give rise to the dysfunctional immune cells, which prevents them from reemerging. He is also studying how T cells learn to tolerate the body’s own cells. Once he figures where this process goes wrong in type 1 diabetes, he hopes to interfere to prevent beta cell attack entirely.
Check back on Friday to learn more about how Joslin researchers are working towards replenishing beta cells.