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15 Aug 2018
$2.2M grant to JAX Professor David Serreze will fund search for new approaches to fighting autoimmune destruction
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a life-threatening autoimmune disease in which the body fails to produce insulin, a hormone that is vital to transporting glucose into cells, where it serves as the primary energy source.
In T1D, immune cells known as T lymphocytes mount an aberrant response that destroys the insulin-producing cells within the pancreas. It’s now known that another type of immune cell, B lymphocytes, are involved in activating those aberrant T lymphocyte responses, so targeting B lymphocytes has been a clear goal of the diabetes research community.
However, a B-lymphocyte targeting strategy tested in a previous clinical trial was only partially effective as a possible T1D intervention approach. A new five-year grant totaling $2,178,319 from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases will support research by Jackson Laboratory Professor David Serreze, Ph.D. , to identify strategies that may make B-lymphocyte targeting a more effective means of T1D intervention than is now possible.