Our laboratory focus is on the immunopathogenesis of type 1 diabetes. Aspects of this work include refining prediction of disease onset/progression through the use of genetic markers and autoantibody assessment. The mechanism of disease is explored on the cellular and molecular level in order to better understand the pathogenesis of this disease and thereby lead to the goal of our program which is to prevent type 1 diabetes in those at risk. The induction of immune tolerance to the insulin secreting endocrine pancreas is the current strategy being pursued for both primary intervention of disease and to improve islet transplantation without the need for immunosuppression in those individuals that already have type 1 diabetes.
Kieran McGrail has been part of the Atkinson lab since 2003. He began work as an undergraduate assistant and now keeps the lab running smoothly as Lab Manager. In addition to overseeing the day-to-day activity, he is responsible for the processing, storage, and data collection of blood samples for two clinical trials. His contagious enthusiasm and penchant for people pleasing make him a valued asset to the lab group.
Sean spent the first ten years of his career in the professional service industry. A job offer as a technician the Atkinson Lab was a welcome change of pace for him to a self-motivated work environment. Sean also assists the research staff as necessary. He is constantly amazed by his colleague’s dedication to curing type 1 diabetes, and will continue to try and make their jobs easier until the cure is found.
Catherine Ramsey Grace
Amanda graduated with a B.S. in microbiology and cell science as well as a B.S. in food science and human nutrition from the University of Florida. In 2010, she was admitted to the Interdisciplinary Program in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Florida College of Medicine and awarded the Alumni Graduate Fellowship and Grinter Fellowship. In 2011, she joined the Atkinson lab and where she studied oral tolerance, the intestinal microbiome, and combination therapies for the prevention and reversal of type 1 diabetes. She earned her Ph.D. in December 2014 and is now the medical writer for the Atkinson lab and UF Diabetes Institute.