Navigation Links
Broad Institute earns grant to support pathbreaking diabetes study
Date:7/21/2008

Researchers at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT have received a grant to support novel, integrative research aimed at finding ways to encourage the human body to replenish the cells that are missing in type 1 diabetes. Awarded by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), the $3M grant will fund work that knits together two interdisciplinary fields, genome biology and chemical biology, to address a fundamental question in human biology: can existing cells be coaxed to regenerate ones that are lost or damaged by disease?

"This grant will enable us to understand the inherent potential of human cells and how it might be harnessed in the future to improve health," said Stuart Schreiber, the grant's principal investigator and director of the Chemical Biology Program at the Broad Institute. "Our focus is on type 1 diabetes, a disease that typically surfaces in childhood and requires lifelong treatment, though our approach holds promise for practically any disease involving a cellular deficiency."

Diabetes stems from an inability to control the levels of glucose in the blood via a regulatory hormone called insulin. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which a person's pancreas stops producing insulin. The disease usually strikes in childhood, adolescence, or young adulthood, but lasts a lifetime. Patients with type 1 diabetes require lifelong insulin therapy, delivered through injections or a small, credit card-sized pump.

Yet that constant need for treatment might be lessened or perhaps eliminated altogether if the missing cells could be safely replaced. For example, surviving beta cells, while rare in type 1 patients, might be induced to multiply, creating enough copies of themselves to restore insulin supply. Or, perhaps other types of pancreatic cells could be redirected to become beta cells, a process known in scientific parlance as cellular reprogramming.

"From our initial proof-of-concept work, we know that human pancreatic tissue can be isolated and grown in the laboratory, and that in this environment, it maintains its normal physiology," said Bridget Wagner, a group leader in pancreatic cell biology and metabolic disease at the Broad Institute who is helping to lead the JDRF-funded research. "Now, the critical question is, can new beta cells be created from this tissue?"

The two-year grant from the JDRF will support the research needed to answer that question. A mainstay of the future work will involve the use of a vast chemical biology toolkit diverse collections of chemicals known as "small molecules", both for their molecular structure and their propensity to influence cells and cell behavior. "High-throughput methods enable us to analyze hundreds if not thousands of small molecules at once," said Aly Shamji, associate director of the Broad Institute's Chemical Biology Program. "The dramatic increase in throughput across a variety of scientific technologies is really transforming the kinds of problems we can tackle."

Pairing these advanced chemical tools with powerful genomic tools, which read cells' genetic information to help determine their identities, will enable the researchers to search for small molecules that promote beta cell growth and development. If successful, such discoveries would highlight the regenerative capacity of human cells, paving the way for future investigations of the approach as not only a potential treatment for diabetes, but also for a myriad of diseases that result from the degeneration of critical cell types.

"This is indeed an ambitious project," said Schreiber, who is also a professor at Harvard University and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. "Part of what makes it feasible, though, is drawing together the resources and expertise of two scientific fields into the new discipline of genomic medicine. We hope the visionary support of JDRF for this unique approach will enable us to accelerate progress in finding robust therapies for type 1 diabetes and perhaps other diseases as well."


'/>"/>

Contact: Nicole Davis
ndavis@broad.mit.edu
617-258-0952
Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Broad-based group of physicians calls for improvement in stroke treatment
2. Euro RSCG Life Broadens X2 Expertise
3. Revolutionary HD Surgical Footage from North Shore-LIJ Surgeon to be Broadcast for the First Time on ABCs 20/20, National Geographic Channel
4. Drug Detection Kits Manufactured By IDenta Corp. Shown During French Television Broadcast (at TF1) - Product Aids French Police In Bust of 600 Kilograms Of Cocaine
5. SATELLITE BROADCAST: Consumer Group Says Hillary Clintons Mandatory Health Insurance Plan is an Act of War on the Middle Class that Cant Afford $12k Policy
6. Verizon Introduces Broadband Video Call Center Link for Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing Customers in Mid-Atlantic Region
7. Incidental findings found when radiologists take a broader look at renal MRA
8. Sanarus Announces Partnership With Leading US Breast Care Physicians for the Next Generation Visica 2(TM) Treatment System for Fibroadenomas
9. Staffing Agency Hires Local Television News Team, Launches Broadband Network for Nurses
10. Abbott Broadens Use of i-STAT Handheld Blood Analyzer with CLIA Waiver Granted by FDA for CHEM8+ Test Cartridge
11. Regence CEO to Chair National Effort Promoting Broader Health Care Stewardship
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:8/18/2017)... , ... August 18, 2017 , ... ... services and financial consultations to communities throughout the greater DC region, is inaugurating ... the goal of rescuing local animals and training them to be companions for ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... August 18, 2017 , ... ... and financial planning services to communities in east Texas, is launching a regional ... Tumor Foundation. , Founded in 1991, the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (PBTF) has ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... John, IN (PRWEB) , ... August 18, 2017 , ... ... to communities in northwest Indiana, is campaigning in support of Campagna Academy in a ... referred to as the “Hoosier Boys’ Town of Indiana,” Campagna Academy is a nonprofit ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... TX (PRWEB) , ... August 18, 2017 , ... The ... communities in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, is spearheading a regional charity campaign organized to ... husband. , In early June of this year, Christina and her children returned from ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... ... August 18, 2017 , ... With over ... in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and integrative medicine, has become a frontrunner for ... aging, such as menopause, andropause, thyroid disorder and adrenal insufficiencies. , Founded ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:8/15/2017)... , Aug. 15, 2017  Axium Pharmaceuticals Inc., the creator of ... to be in the beginning stages of an IPO. ... epilepsy medications with the average cost of a prescription epilepsy drug being ... AXIUM ... Another staggering figure is the fact that ...
(Date:8/11/2017)... 2017 DarioHealth Corp. (NASDAQ: DRIO), a leading ... data solutions, today announced that it will release its ... host a conference call at 9:00am ET. The Company ... results and its strategy and outlook for the remainder ... Erez Raphael , Chief Executive Officer, and Zvi ...
(Date:8/7/2017)... 2017 Insightin Health, provider of data-driven ... engagement, announced the selection of Michael Wood ... effective as of February 2017. In this role, Wood ... for our clients. Wood brings with him more ... business analytics within the healthcare industry. Wood formerly ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: