The ultimate goal of research in my laboratory is to develop improved methods for measuring autoimmunity in type 1A diabetes, identify reagents that might have therapeutic utility for the prevention and/or treatment of this disease, and ultimately to translate this research to the clinic. Type 1A diabetes is a T-cell mediated autoimmune disease that results in an absolute deficiency of insulin following loss of pancreatic beta cells. Consequently, my research focuses on 2 major areas; auto-immunity to pancreatic beta cell proteins, and the cell biology of the pancreatic beta cell, with special emphasis on the behavior of proteins targeted by the immune system in humans. Current projects include the use of novel artificial antigen presenting cells to probe diabetes relevant T cells present in peripheral blood, and an analysis of transcriptional and translational re-programming of beta cells in response to environmental stressors that may contribute to the generation of “neo-antigens” targeted by disease relevant T cells.
PhD: University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK (1988)