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Fresh Ideas, Foundational Experiments: Immunology and Diabetes

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The global rise in incidence of Type 1 Diabetes(T1D) does not correlate with genetic drift and indicates that environmental exposures are playing an increasingly significant role. Despite major biomedical and technological advances in diagnosis and treatment, treatments are frequently insufficient as they do ...

The global rise in incidence of Type 1 Diabetes(T1D) does not correlate with genetic drift and indicates that environmental exposures are playing an increasingly significant role. Despite major biomedical and technological advances in diagnosis and treatment, treatments are frequently insufficient as they do not inhibit the progression of the underlying autoimmune response, and often fail to prevent life-threatening complications. T1D is the result of autoimmune destruction of the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas, and the precise, mechanistic contribution of the immune system to disease pathogenesis and progression remains to be fully characterized. Ultimately, the combinatorial effect of concurrent factors, including beta cell fragility, exogenous stressors, and genetic priming of the innate and adaptive immune system, work together to induce T1D autoimmunity. Thus, T1D is the result of immunological defects and environmental pathogens, requiring the sustained attention of collaborative research teams with varied perspectives,, unified by the universally held goal of finding a sustainable, life-long cure.

We have created an international group to promote scientific discussion on all aspects of the immunology of diabetes by fostering research related to the immunology, genetics, and pathogenesis. As a group, we were drawn together by our common interests in developing better approaches to discovering therapeutics, biomarkers and cures for diabetes. Our interest brought us to become Network for Pancreatic Organ Donors with Diabetes (nPOD) investigators, where we were able to engage and discuss our ideas. For the most part, we represent basic research scientists with a wide range of expertise and scientific approaches that include genetics, immunology, beta cell biology, microbiota, prediction and disease prevention as well as studies in related autoimmune disorders and the ability to actively pursue our collaborative ideas to study clinical samples as well as develop animal models.

The first Fresh Ideas, Foundational Experiments: Immunology and Diabetes symposia workshop took place in 2016 and exemplified the active interest of a number of several researchers interested in this collaborative effort. Growth continues with the development of innovative and dynamic new partnerships in research and open communication of experimental outcomes with future symposia and active forums for discussion planned. The FIFE:I&D Group would like to use this Research Topic to share their data, ideas, and promote collaborations on how to promote novel therapies with the goal of a cure for T1D.


Keywords: Immunology, Diabetes, Beta cells, Autoimmune Disease


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