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:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... California Senate Bill (SB) 863, signed into ... claim in 2013 and 2014, according to CompScope™ Medical Benchmarks for California, 17th ... According to the study, medical payments per claim in California decreased 4 percent in ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Rock, AR (PRWEB) , ... December 08, 2016 ... ... providing insurance and financial planning services from offices headquartered in Little Rock, has ... Food Pantry. , According to the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger, Arkansas ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... Coppin Insurance Agency, an insurance ... in and around the Cape Coral area, is embarking on a charity drive with ... Southwest Florida. , The Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida works to provide ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... KING OF PRUSSIA, PA (PRWEB) , ... December 07, 2016 , ... ... of clinical trials with the announcement that it is one of the early adopters ... EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework is designed to provide companies on both sides of the ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... Children exposed to ... researcher at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has found. The ... when young children are exposed to secondhand marijuana smoke, measurable amounts of primary ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... , 8 de dezembro de 2016  A Mederi Therapeutics Inc ... Stretta, um tratamento não cirúrgico para a doença do refluxo gastroesofágico (DRGE). ... ... Live Stretta procedure performed and broadcast ... Endoscopy at Wuhan Union Hospital ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Dec. 8, 2016 Bodycad announced it ... improving the accuracy, reproducibility and speed for 3D ... and small bone orthopaedic applications. These patents are ... personalized orthopaedic restorations based on each patient,s distinct ... the company harnesses the world,s first suite of ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Dec. 8, 2016  Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. ... ("Valeant") today announced positive results from a Phase ... assess the safety and efficacy of IDP-118 (halobetasol ... plaque psoriasis. Within the Phase ... to severe psoriasis, IDP-118 showed statistical significance to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: