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JDRF-funded diabetes research projects

Isolating_stem_cells_from_cord_bloodThree research projects have been announced by JDRF. Dr Parth Narendran at the University of Birmingham will test if there is a way of stopping the cells of the immune system that target beta cells from entering the pancreas in the first place. Preventing the immune attack from getting started is one of JDRF’s key priorities.

Dr Tim Tree at King’s College London is looking at specific cells in the immune system that may offer protection against type 1. In this project he will investigate regulatory T cells, which are supposed to keep the immune system under control.

In a related project at King’s College London, Dr Els Henckaerts is going to use his team’s skills in stem cell biology to investigate whether he can grow new regulatory T cells capable of controlling the immune response against beta cells in his laboratory. If this proof-of-concept study yields decisive results, the cells created by the team could potentially be injected into people with, or at risk of, type 1 diabetes as a means to control the immune destruction of beta cells.

JDRF has committed over £430,000 to supporting these three projects

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