The incidence of Type 1 Diabetes is on the rise in the United States, and carries with it high levels of long-term morbidity and mortality. Over the past decade, collaboration between bench scientists and biomedical engineers has produced new disease management technologies that have dramatically improved patient care. Further collaborative efforts are needed to address the prevention and reversal of T1D; the mission of this training program is to provide an interdisciplinary, integrative environment in which future scientists can acquire the skill sets and knowledge vital for T1D elimination.
Trainees appointed to the T1D T32 will be immersed in laboratory investigational experiences and non-laboratory research related to the study of T1D. Trainees will select one mentor from the College of Medicine and one mentor from the College of Engineering, and will benefit from the trans-disciplinary cross-fertilization provided by faculty with basic science, translational investigation, and clinical training backgrounds. The T1D T32 involves four research clusters which will inform trainees’ understanding of T1D: Immunology & Genetics, Stem Cell Biology & Therapeutics, Clinical & Translational Research, and Biomedical Engineering. Once a trainee has established their mentor relationships, they will draft their Individual Training Plan (ITP) with their mentors’ input and the oversight of the T32 Executive Committee and the T32 Program Directors. The ITP must outline the trainee’s career goals, coursework, and training related activities.
Meet the Directors:
Dr. Atkinson is an internationally recognized authority on multiple aspects pertaining to Type 1 Diabetes, with particular interests in disease prediction and prevention, the role for environment in the initiation of the disease, stem cells and pancreatic regeneration, the use of animal models in studies of Type 1 Diabetes pathogenesis and therapy, and the identification of markers of tolerance and immunoregulation.
Dr. Keselowsky’s research focuses on engineering biomaterial cell interactions, and targeted controlled release of immune modulating factors to direct immune cell function. He focuses his efforts on both a basic understanding of interactions of immune cells with biomaterials as well as the engineering of biomaterials capable of directing immunological processes.
Dr. Stabler’s research centers on engineering translational biomaterial platforms for cell-based therapies, particularly Type 1 Diabetes. Specifically, her research seeks to develop bioactive materials capable of: protecting cells from immunological attack; providing 3-D support of the transplanted cells; presenting cues for guiding positive host cell remodeling; and releasing therapeutic agents.
Dr. Mathews searches for genes that beta cells naturally employ to ward off destructive mechanisms used by the immune system. Such discoveries will have important ramifications for efforts in organ transplantation, stem cell engineering and pharmacological-based studies seeking to cure Type 1 Diabetes.