Jeeyeon Cha, MD, PhD, is a physician scientist and clinical instructor in the Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolism at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She is conducting postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Roland Stein, PhD, at Vanderbilt University studying cellular aging and sex disparities in diabetes pathogenesis. Her clinical interests include heritable forms of diabetes, and reproductive and transgender medicine. She completed MSTP training at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the University of Cincinnati studying developmental and reproductive biology. She then completed Internal Medicine residency and Endocrinology fellowship at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She is currently funded by a Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Physician Scientist Fellowship.
Dr. Arvan received his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and his M.D. and Ph.D. (in Cell Biology) from Yale University Following residency in Internal Medicine, Dr. Arvan completed fellowship training in Endocrinology at Yale. Dr. Arvan then became an Assistant and later Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School (Beth Israel Hospital) for 8 years, before moving and becoming Professor with tenure at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. Since 2003, Dr. Arvan has been Division Chief at the University of Michigan and during that time spent 8 years as the Director of the Michigan Comprehensive Diabetes Center. Dr. Arvan works at the Brehm Center for Diabetes Research (a group of highly accomplished and collaborative basic and clinical diabetes investigators) where he serves as the Brehm Professor of Diabetes Research. Dr. Arvan is an elected member of the ASCI and AAP; he won the RR Bensley Award (Am. Assoc. Anat.); was a Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences, Pfizer Visiting Professor, Burroughs-Wellcome Visiting Professor, the Sidney Ingbar Lecturer (Harvard); the PSTP Visiting Professor (Wash. U.), the McKenzie Lecturer (U. Miami), the Harrison Society Visiting Professor (Vanderbilt), and the Distinguished Faculty Award (U. Michigan). Dr. Arvan’s research work has focused on peptide hormone synthesis, especially insulin synthesis. He is specifically interested in understanding how peptide hormone protein precursors mature into medically-active hormones, and how these steps go wrong in endocrine diseases including diabetes.
Professor Atkinson’s research is broad in scope but directed at identifying a prevention and/or cure for Type 1 (i.e., insulin-dependent, juvenile) diabetes. The key to achieving this goal is an improved understanding of the interactions between environmental, immunologic, and genetic factors that underlie the inability to form immunological tolerance to the insulin secreting pancreatic beta cells. To achieve this goal, our laboratory seeks to directly define methods (e.g., immunointervention with self-antigens, gene therapy) for disease prevention in non-diabetic subjects identified to be at increased risk for the disease or diabetic subjects through pancreatic transplantation in association with novel forms of immunotherapy.
Dr. Susan Bonner-Weir is Senior Investigator, Joslin Diabetes Center and Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School. For over thirty years she has focused on the islets of Langerhans, their function, architecture, and growth. She has published over 200 peer-reviewed papers and 80 chapters and reviews. Dr. Bonner-Weir has served on numerous grant review panels and editorial boards. She has been elected as a Fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science (2013) and has received the William Silen Award for Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring from Harvard Medical School (2015) and the Paul Lacy Award (2016) from Midwest Islet Club.
I am a PhD student at the University of Exeter Medical School working under the supervision of Professor Richard Oram, Professor Sarah Richardson and Dr Beverley Shields. I believe the future and key to progressing scientifically is an interdisciplinary approach to science, and my PhD exploits the interface between clinical science and islet biology, aiming to better understand the biological processes underlying changes in the beta cells and insulin production over time in people with type 1 diabetes. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on 8th August 2012, and I wouldn’t be the person I am today without it. Since then, I have dedicated my life to doing all I can to educate, raise awareness and make life better for people living with type 1 diabetes.
Dr Chester Chamberlain received his PhD from Harvard and holds a faculty appointment at the UCSF Diabetes Center, with an Assistant Researcher title. The central focus of his research is the insulin-producing beta cell. Beta cells reside in the pancreas, in small clusters of endocrine cells called the islets of Langerhans, and their loss, damage or dysfunction causes diabetes. He is particularly interested in the mechanisms that drive beta cell destruction in type 1 and 2 diabetes, and the proliferative pathways that can be triggered to regenerate them.
Dr. Yi-Chun Chen is a JDRF-funded postdoctoral fellow working with Dr. Bruce Verchere at the University of British Columbia and BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute. Dr. Chen’s research focuses on prohormone processing in pancreatic beta cells in health and in diabetes.
I am a student currently attending the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine. I am from Memphis, Tennessee, and I attained my Bachelor of Science at Baptist University of Health Sciences. I have a great interest in researching the genetic factors involved in disease processes. Patient care is also an area of great importance to me.
Dr. Carmella Evans-Molina serves as a Co-Executive Director nPOD. She is the J.O. Ritchey Scholar in Medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, IN, where she serves as Director of the Pediatric Diabetes Research Program in the Herman B Wells Center, as an Associate Director of the Indiana University Center for Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases (CDMD), and as Director of CDMD Islet and Physiology Core. She is a Staff Physician at the Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis. Dr. Evans-Molina earned her MD degree from Marshall University in WV and her PhD from the University of Virginia. She completed her residency training in Internal Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital and subspecialty training in Endocrinology and Metabolism at UVA.
Dr. Evans-Molina’s basic science research program is focused on defining mechanisms of altered β cell calcium signaling in type 1 and type 2 diabetes. She has a translational interest in the identification of novel biomarkers that can be used to identify those at risk of type 1 diabetes. Her research is funded by the National Institutes of Health, the US Veteran’s Administration, and the JDRF.
Dr. Evans-Molina is an investigator in the Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet Network, where she serves also as Chair of the β Cell and Metabolism Working Group and Chair of the Long-Term Investigative Follow-Up in TrialNet (LIFT) Study. She is a member of the editorial boards of Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Translational Research.
Personal Statement: My career has been focused on studies of the pathogenesis and treatment of immune diseases. My training and research work began in murine models and has involved studies of human samples from clinical trials: I have been the PI of 5 multicenter clinical trials of teplizumab for treatment and prevention of Type 1 diabetes and have also led other single and multicenter clinical trials. As part of this work, we have analyzed cellular immune responses in patients and determined the effects of immune therapies on these responses. We have also studied changes in β cell function and mass in humans with diabetes and animal models. We described epigenetic changes that occur in b cells in response to immune attack and identified a subpopulation of b cells that resists immune killing. To identify how immune responses are associated with the decline in β cells we developed an assay to measure β cell death in vivo. We described changes in b cells that occur in response to immunologic stressors which, we have postulated, may lead to survival.
My laboratory has a long standing interest in developing tools to analyze autoantigen specific T cells in patients with Type 1 diabetes. We have used Class I MHC tetramers to analyze these cells in clinical trials and have developed T cell libraries for this purpose. My group was the first to identify autoimmune diabetes induced with checkpoint inhibitors (Diabetes Care 1995) which has provided insights into the mechanisms of Type 1 diabetes. In addition to clinical studies of anti-CD3 mAb I am and have been the Co-PI of early Phase trials of regulatory T cells to treat Type 1 diabetes, and others. I am a member of the Immune Tolerance Network Steering committee and the PI of the Yale Trial Net Center. I serve as Deputy Director for Translational Medicine in the Yale CTSA, and the Director of the Autoimmunity program in the Human Translational Immunology section of the Department of Immunobiology.
Trained as a physician in Germany, France and the United States, Dr. Homann received his postdoctoral training at The Scripps Research Institute in California; subsequently joined the faculty of the Barbara Davis Center at the University of Colorado, and since 2014 works at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York where he is a Professor of Medicine at the Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism Institute as well as Precision Immunology Institute. His research interests are focused on the regulation of specific T cell immunity in the context of autoimmunity (type 1 diabetes) and infectious disease (acute and chronic viral infections). Over the past few years, he has also expanded his research program to encompass a broader context of islet cell biology and histopathology in human type 1 diabetes, and has launched multiple collaborative efforts to better leverage complementary expert knowledge, unique technology access and more effective overall implementation of research strategies.
Mollie Huber is currently a second-year Ph.D. student in the Graduate Program of Biomedical Sciences with a concentration in immunology at the University of Florida. She received her undergraduate degree in Microbiology and Cell Science with a minor in Bioinformatics from the University of Florida. Mollie is currently a student in the Phelps, Mathews, and Atkinson labs. Her project focuses on the application of live pancreas tissue slices to study the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes.
Sally Kent’s focus in type 1 diabetes research is in the autoreactive T cell repertoire directly from the islets from human donors with type 1 diabetes. Her goal is to understand the breadth and function of this repertoire in the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes and how this repertoire may be inhibited. She has been involved with nPOD since its inception in 2007, has served as Task and Group Leader for the Viral and Autoimmunity Working Groups, respectively, and is now a Co-Leader for Team Science with nPOD. She received the nPOD Champion of the Collaborative Spirit Award in 2016 and the nPOD Pioneer Award in 2018.
Dongkyu Lee has a BS in pharmacy and PhD degree in pharmaceutical analysis from Seoul National University. He came to UIUC as a postdoctoral fellow in 2019, joined the Sweedler group in Department of Chemistry. He has made research contributions in mass spectrometry-based approaches to quantitatively measure biomolecules including lipids, metabolites and peptides and reveal biochemical fingerprints in cellular process or disease progress. Subsequent mass spectrometry imaging further investigates the spatiochemical information of the significant molecular species as visualizing diverse molecular species in a non-targeted manner. His current research interest has been involved in the method development to apply mass spectrometry imaging to FFPE tissue specimens of which mass spectrometric detection was limited by formaldehyde-induced crosslinking.
Dr. Raghu Mirmira attended the University of Chicago and graduated in 1986 with a Bachelor’s degree with Honors in Chemistry. He then entered the MD-PhD program (known as the Medical Scientist Training Program), also at The University of Chicago. During his PhD training, he worked under the mentorship of Dr. Howard Tager studying insulin-receptor interactions. His work during this time set the foundation for the development of ultra-rapid- and ultra-long-acting insulins that are widely in use today to treat all forms of diabetes. He received his PhD degree in 1991, followed by his MD degree in 1993. Raghu subsequently completed his residency in Internal Medicine and subspecialty training in Diabetes and Endocrinology at the University of California at San Francisco.
During his subspecialty training, Raghu did his research in the laboratory of Dr. Michael German, where he studied the regulation of genes in the insulin-producing β cell. During this time, he held the prestigious Physician Postdoctoral Fellowship Award from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a JDRF Career Development Award, and later a Research Career Award from the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Mirmira then joined the faculty at the University of Virginia in 2000, where he continued his studies on the regulation of genes in insulin producing cells. For his work, he received the prestigious Thomas R. Lee Career Development Award from the American Diabetes Association and was honored in Washington, DC in 2004 with the Discovery Channel Medical Honor, along with Surgeon General David Satcher.
Raghu moved to Indiana University in 2008 to assume directorship of the burgeoning Diabetes Center, where he subsequently built a nationally recognized program that earned NIH Center Funding in 2015. His research recently has been focusing on the roles of the β cell and the immune system in the development of type 1 diabetes. He has pioneered work that has shown that defects in the β cell may inherently initiate the autoimmune process in T1D, and that new therapies should begin to focus on how β cells should be targeted in T1D. He was recruited to the University of Chicago in 2019 to lead the Translational Research Center and build a group of translational researchers whose goal is to make fundamental discoveries that translate from the bench to the bedside. He is a dedicated researcher, clinician (still seeing patients with diabetes), teacher, and administrator. He is also has an NIH-funded research lab of 12 scientists. He has published over 140 scientific papers in prestigious journals and is an international thought leader in the field of diabetes. He is Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, and a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation,
Charanya Muralidharan is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Linnemann lab at the Indiana University school of medicine. Her research focuses on understanding the role of beta-cell autophagy during the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes. She is also utilizing 2-Photon intravital microscopy techniques to study dynamic processes such as ROS accumulation and autophagy in the beta-cells of endogenous mouse and transplanted human islets, in situ.
The primary focus of Dr. Nakayama’s laboratory is to elucidate the mechanism by which anti-islet autoimmunity causing type 1 diabetes (T1D) is initiated, from the point of view of the tri-molecular complex consisting of antigen, major histocompatibility complex (MHC), and T cell receptor (TCR) that could be a key component for the development of T1D. One of current major goals is to identify antigen specificity of T cells infiltrating pancreatic islets of T1D patients and to illustrate whether and how antigen specificity determines T cell fate.
Dr. Nakayama and her colleagues recently identified that proinsulin peptides including the insulin B:9-23 peptide, which has been demonstrated as an essential autoantigen for the T1D development in an animal model, are the target antigen for islet-infiltrating T cells in multiple T1D patients. In addition, they pursue the potential of TCR sequences to be used as T cell biomarker to predict the T1D development as well as recurrence of hyperglycemia after the pancreas transplantation or clinical therapeutic trials. The ultimate goal of Dr. Nakayama’s laboratory is to develop robust antigen-based immunodiagnostic tools as well as immunotherapy to prevent and cure T1D.
Dr Richard Oram, PhD, BMBCh, BA (hons), MRCP
Associate Professor, Diabetes UK Harry Keen Fellow
University of Exeter – College of Medicine And Health – Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health Professions
Professor Richard Oram is a Diabetes UK Harry Keen Fellow specializing in Type 1 diabetes at the Institute of Biomedical and Clinical Science and NIHR Exeter Clinical Research Facility. Richard finished his Diabetes UK funded PhD on endogenous insulin production in type 1 diabetes in 2014, he showed that most people with type 1 diabetes still make small amounts of their own insulin. Funded by JDRF, he continues to study the biology of beta cell loss in type 1 diabetes and the impact of persistent beta cell function on complications, including hypoglycemia. His Harry Keen fellowship and the Helmsley Charitable Trust fund Richard and Tim Tree (KCL) to study the causes of a rare subtype of extremely early onset type 1 diabetes – diagnosed under the age of 1 year. This overlaps with work with Sarah Richardson, Noel Morgan, Andrew Hattersley and Tim McDonald to better define endotypes of type 1 diabetes.
Working with Mike Weedon, he has developed a cheap, simple method to assess genetic risk in type 1 diabetes – a T1D genetic risk score (T1D GRS). He has shown this can be used as a diagnostic test to differentiate type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and with Kash Patel has shown it can be used to identify monogenic diabetes. Collaborating with Bill Hagopian (PNRI, Seattle), he recently improved the T1D GRS to include more HLA alleles and their interactions. With Ranjan Yajnik (Pune, India), he has shown the utility of this T1D genetic risk score in Indians. With Mike Weedon, Bill Hagopian and the NIH funded SEARCH study, Richard is working of uses of the T1D GRS in an ethnically diverse US population.
Richard is testing the utility of the T1D GRS for prediciton of Type 1 diabetes. Funded by JDRF, with Bill Hagopian, Lauric Ferrat and Kendra Vehik, he is investigating combining genetic information with longitudinal biomarkers to better predict type 1 diabetes and other autoimmune diseases from birth in the NIH funded TEDDY study. He is coinvestigator with with Maria Redondo (Baylor College of Medicine) to intergrate genetics into better prediciton of type 1 diabetes in the NIH funded Trialnet Pathway to Prevention study. Richard is working with Bill Hagopian to test a newborn genetic screen with autoantibody monitoring follow up to prevent childhood diabetic ketoacidosis in the CASCADE study.
Richard spent a period of his training at the University of Alberta with the world leading clinical islet transplant and renal transplant programs. During this time he performed analysis of complications related to immunosuppression post-islet transplantation, and with Peter Senior and Shareen Forbes developed a new method to assess graft function – The Beta2 Score.
Dr. Pugliese, who joined the DRI in 1994, is dedicated to advancing type 1 diabetes research through scientific excellence, open collaboration, and the training of new investigators. For the last 25 years, he has studied type 1 diabetes from the preclinical period to the clinical diagnosis, and afterwards, in the setting of transplantation.
His work examines the role of genetic and immunological factors that lead to, or protect against, the development of type 1 diabetes. His studies have led to improved understanding of genetic and cellular mechanisms that regulate immunological self-tolerance (acceptance) specifically to molecules targeted in diabetes. Dr. Pugliese’s research has provided seminal contributions in type 1 diabetes genetics, immunology, pathology, and clinical trials.
Dr. Teresa Quattrin is a Pediatric Endocrinologist and Diabetologist, UB Distinguished Professor, Senior Associate Dean for Research Integration, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo. During the years 2007-2017 she served as Chair of the Department of Pediatrics, Pediatrician in Chief of the Oishei Children’s Hospital, Chief of Pediatric Service for Kaleida Health and CEO of UBMD Pediatrics.
Dr. Quattrin is an internationally renowned physician-scientist who has received continuous funding from federal, state agencies and foundations to pursue her investigator initiated and pharma sponsored research in type 1 diabetes (T1D), with a focus on preventing/halting progression of type 1. Her other research interest include obesity and growth/growth factors. She serves as a reviewer for several national and international journals, the National Institutes of Health, the Diabetes Research Office of the United Kingdom, the Diabetes Clinical Trials Network in Ireland and the Italian Ministry of Health. Throughout her career, Dr. Quattrin has been recognized for her passion for innovation, clinical-translational research and named numerous times among the “Best Doctors in America” for her excellence in patient care.
I obtained my MD degree at University of Barcelona (UB) in 2008. I finished my residency in Rheumatology and a 2 years training program in Pediatric Rheumatology at Vall d’Hebron University Hospital. At early stages of my career I got fascinated by biomedical research and hence I’ve got involved in multiple clinical research projects and clinical trials. I also did a fellowship at Istituto Giannina Gaslini in Italy, Center of Excellence in Pediatric Rheumatology according to the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR). In 2017 I obtained my PhD at Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) with a cum laude and the mention as an international doctor. My PhD thesis was focused on identifying immunological differences in relation to age and treatment in patients with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis.
I joined Prof. von Herrath’s lab as a postdoctoral fellow at La Jolla Institute for Immunology in 2018, where I am studying type 1 diabetes, investigating the role of different immune cells, cytokines and other signaling molecules in disease initiation and progression. I perform experiments in human pancreatic sections obtained from the Network for Pancreatic Organ Donors with Diabetes (nPOD), in human isolated islets (IIDP) and in human islet organoids (InSphero). I also work with animal models. I am particularly interested in gaining insight in the processes occurring in autoimmune diseases that start in childhood.
Farhan Qureshi is a third-year MD/PhD student at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He received his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at the University of Virginia. He is currently a student in the lab of Alejandro Caicedo, PhD. In his research project, Farhan is investigating how low-dose IL-2, a therapy currently in clinical trials, may affect beta cell dysfunction during the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes. He is also involved in studies on the postnatal development of the human pancreatic islet, specifically in determining functional differences in innate immune cells during maturation.
Sarah Richardson’s career in type 1 diabetes research began in 2007 when she joined Professor Noel Morgan’s group at the University of Exeter Medical School. Prior to this her postdoctoral work was in the field of apoptosis based at both the University of Sheffield and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne. She is now a Senior Lecturer/Principal Investigator utilising three unique cohorts of type 1 diabetes patient pancreas samples and her research is centred around developing a clearer understanding of the disease processes by which beta cells are targeted and destroyed. She has particular interests in the role that enteroviruses and anti-viral responses may play in the disease and how age of diagnosis may impact on diabetes endotypes.
Her current research projects are aimed at confirming whether enterovirus can be detected in the pancreas of patients and enhancing knowledge of the pathogenic signaling mechanisms involved in sensing virus which could contribute to the recruitment and activation of immune cells. The success of this work enabled her to gain a Diabetes Research Wellness Foundation (DRWF) Non-Clinical Research Fellowship, a 5yr JDRF Career Development Award and more recently an MRC Project Grant. She was the first recipient of the network of Pancreatic Organ Donors (nPOD) Junior Investigator Award, awarded for being a champion of collaborative spirit and data sharing and for dedication to type 1 diabetes research.
She currently manages the Exeter Archival Diabetes Biobank, is a member of the Tissue Prioritisation Committee for the nPOD, is on the JDRF Scientific Advisory Committee and has recently been appointed to a Diabetes UK Clinical Studies Group. She has also been an Innovators in Diabetes (iDia) participant with Diabetes UK and is a member of the JDRF Viral Vaccine Discussion Group. She is an enthusiastic and pro-active member of several international consortiums aimed at developing a better understanding of the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes.
Dr. Rodriguez-Calvo is a junior group leader at the Institute of Diabetes Research (Helmholtz Zentrum München) in Munich. She studied Veterinary Medicine at Complutense University (UCM) in Madrid, Spain, and completed her PhD in Veterinary Science at the Research Center for Animal Health (CISA) in 2012. In this BSL-3 facility, she acquired her passion for viruses and she focused her research on Immunology and Virology, studying the immune response against Foot and Mouth Disease Virus (FMDV) and Bluetongue Virus (BTV), and specifically the role of dendritic cells during the course of infection. In 2012 she joined La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI), in San Diego, United States, as a postdoc under the supervision of Professor Matthias von Herrath, and in 2015 she was promoted to Instructor. During this time, she closely collaborated with nPOD and found that CD8 T cells, the main cell type implicated in the destruction of insulin-producing beta cells, are localized in the islets of Langerhans predominantly when beta cells are still present but additionally infiltrate the exocrine pancreas in high numbers even when beta cells have been destroyed. In 2015 she received the nPOD Young Investigator Award “for outstanding contributions to diabetes research”.
In April 2017, she joined the Institute of Diabetes Research (Helmholtz Zentrum München) in Munich, Germany, and started her own laboratory to continue her research with a focus on the immunopathology of human type 1 diabetes. In collaboration with the nPOD-Virus group, she investigates key mechanisms of viral infection, possible molecular mimicry, induction of inflammatory cytokines, the presence of high expression of MHC molecules and the immune response against enteroviruses. Dr. Rodriguez-Calvo is also interested in understanding the early changes that take place in the pancreas in individuals at risk of developing the disease and, specifically, if there is a defect in beta cell function before clinical onset. She recently received the Helmsley Charitable Trust George S. Eisenbarth nPOD Award for Team Science in order to study proinsulin processing and the potential post-translational modifications that might occur during insulin synthesis. In 2020 she received the JDRF Robert Goldstein Award for her work in understanding the development of type 1 diabetes.
Federica Vecchio studied medical biotechnologies at the University of Milano-Bicocca (Italy), where she graduated with a MSc in 2018.
Since 2016, at the Diabetes Research Institute – San Raffaele Hospital (MI), for three years she worked on immunological analysis of human neutrophils in T1D children and adults and in relatives of T1D patients at risk of developing the disease. Currently, as part of the laboratory team Mallone-You at the INSERM Cochin Institute in Paris, her research activity focuses on dissecting the role of Coxsackievirus infection in T1D pathogenesis.
Dr. Bruce Verchere, Ph.D. serves as Head of Diabetes Research Program, Child and Family Research Institute (‘CFRI’), at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Verchere is a professor in the department of pathology and laboratory medicine at the University of British Columbia and an investigator at the Child & Family Research Institute at Children’s & Women’s Health Centre of BC. His research focuses on understanding how pancreatic beta cells normally function, and why