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La Jolla Institute scientist leads team which discovers important new player in diabetes onset
Date:6/7/2010

Ph.D., from the University of Virginia, was lead author on the paper and Dr. Hedrick, who was a faculty member at the University of Virginia before joining the La Jolla Institute in late 2009, was senior author.

Ann Marie Schmidt, Ph.D., the Gerald & Janet Carrus Professor of Surgical Science at Columbia University, who specializes in research on the mechanisms of diabetic complications, called the finding a "very novel and extremely important" discovery illuminating the ABCG1 protein's role in optimizing insulin secretion. "This mechanism may be very helpful for people with type 2 diabetes, but also type 1 because it may extend the period of time before all insulin-producing potential is gone," she said. "While delaying disease onset is important in both types of diabetes, it is particularly critical for type 1 diabetics who tend to manifest diabetes as children and who can suffer more severe disease consequences because of the lifelong nature of their illness and their eventual complete loss of the ability to produce insulin."

Matthias von Herrath, M.D., director of the La Jolla Institute's Type 1 Diabetes Research Center, agreed and praised the ABCG1 finding as an important step in understanding the cellular mechanisms of insulin secretion. "Dr. Hedrick's discovery offers important insights on possible ways to increase insulin production, which is key to controlling both types of diabetes," said Dr. von Herrath, who is among the world's leading type 1 diabetes researchers. "We are pleased that she recently joined our Institute and will be contributing to our Center's efforts to combat this terrible disease."

Dr. Hedrick, who primarily researches the high correlation between diabetes and heart disease, began studying the ABCG1 protein several years ago as she looked at cholesterol buildup and coronary plaque formation in diabetes sufferers. "The primary, known function of ABCG1 is to remove excess cholesterol from the body. But wi
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Contact: Bonnie Ward
contact@liai.org
619-303-3160
La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology
Source:Eurekalert

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