DRI Researchers Published in International Diabetes Monitor
Articles written by two Diabetes Research Institute scientists, Dr. Jay Skyler and Dr. Alberto Pugliese, were published in the most recent issue of International Diabetes Monitor.
In his review article, Pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes: genetics, Dr. Pugliese reported on the cumulative findings of genetic research as it relates to the predisposition and onset of type 1 diabetes. A recent finding of particular interest is the evidence that a gene called IFIH1 modulates diabetes risk. Given its function, this gene appears to link the environmental “trigger” and the genetic predisposition to the development of the autoimmune disease.
The evidence supports a long-held belief among scientists that an environmental trigger, such as a virus, is associated with the onset of diabetes in genetically-susceptible individuals. The identification of IFIH1 as a genetic link will enable researchers to focus on the mechanisms and responses of this gene to environmental factors.
Dr. Pugliese is a professor of medicine, immunology and microbiology, and head of the immunogenetics program at the Diabetes Research Institute.
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In the article Approaches to interdicting type 1 diabetes, DRI's Dr. Jay Skyler reviewed a variety of recent diabetes intervention strategies that hold promise as clinical therapies for the management and treatment of diabetes. The paper discusses the results to date of approaches to interdict the type 1 diabetes process in human beings. Although a wide variety of interventions have been tested in small pilot studies or in small clinical trials, the paper focuses on those interventions that have been tested in randomized, controlled clinical trials. His assessment includes studies in recent-onset type 1 diabetes as well as studies in individuals at high risk of type 1 diabetes.
The assessment notes that a variety of interventions tested in recent-onset type 1 diabetes have slowed the decline of beta cell function and hold promise as clinical therapies that could make management of type 1 diabetes easier. And, given their success in recent-onset type 1 diabetes, the interventions may also prove successful in delaying or preventing type1 diabetes, though he cautions that combinations of two or more therapies, modulating the immune system in complementary ways, may be necessary for success.
Dr. Skyler is associate director for academic programs at the Diabetes Research Institute, past president of American Diabetes Association and current study chairman of the NIH-sponsored Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet.
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