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BYU diabetes research bolstered by students with diabetes

October 8, 2019


Type 1 diabetes is a 24/7, 365 days a year disease You get no breaks, no holidays. What happens in type 1 diabetes is that your immune system starts to recognize your beta cells as foreign and, because they recognize it as
foreign, they’ll then go and attack and then kill them.
The problem then becomes how do you get more? If we can give beta cells back to a
patient who is diabetic, that would be a way of treating their
diabetes. My lab focuses on how to make more beta cells. We would like to be able to define the
genes that let beta cells replicate and then by
defining those genes, then we can make drugs that can activate or shut off those genes. In our lab there’s 4 of us that have diabetes. It’s more than just a research group, but a group that we can feed off of each other, learn from each other and learn how to manage our diabetes. I was twenty years old when I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I was serving my LDS mission in St. Petersburg, Russia. I was diagnosed with diabetes on the
15th birthday. I was diagnosed in December 2006. I was six years old at the time. I was diagnosed on my birthday in Brazil
while I was serving an LDS mission So we’re looking at this section of a pancreas from a mouse. The red staining is for insulin. The blue
simply is just staining for the nuclei and then the green is showing a protein, p57, which is a cell cycle inhibitor In someone with type 1 diabetes, you
would see little to no red, because the red represents
the beta cells in insulin. The most encouraging thing is
that we’re actually seeing proliferation. We’re seeing these beta cells grow, divide and secrete insulin. I’m confident that in the next couple decades that a cure for diabetes will be found.

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1 Comment

  • Reply tanaka t March 12, 2017 at 12:12 am

    Great video. We hypothesized that Staphylococcus aureus infection may result in diabetes mellitus.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7UG5A_ERbY

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