14th Annual Spring Research Briefing

The 14th Annual Spring Research Briefing was held on April 9, 2013 at the Sheraton Needham Hotel.

Dr. Julia Greenstein, JDRF’s Vice President of Cure Therapies, started the evening by providing an overview of JDRF’s research portfolio.  JDRF is driving research across the entire scientific spectrum, from discovery in the laboratory to delivery of new technologies and treatments to people with type 1 diabetes (T1D).  We collaborate with scientific partners—including industry, academia, and clinicians—leveraging their novel ideas for treatments, potential avenues to a cure, and expertise to accelerate the pace of progress.

As highlighted by our featured researchers, Drs. Brehm, Karp, and Xavier, much of this work is happening right in our backyard: using novel mouse models of human immunity to study islet transplantation and to test immune therapies to prevent rejection; developing a device for encapsulating implanted beta cells; and determining the role of the intestinal microbial community in T1D risk.  In fact, Massachusetts receives more funding from JDRF than any other state.  View biographies of our speakers.

Here you will find video of the evening’s presentations.  A special thank you to Bentley University students Alison Abrams, Alice Lin, Julia Paradis, and Maria Ruiz, and to their professor Mark Frydenberg, for making this possible!

JDRF: Accelerating Our Mission
Julia L. Greenstein, Ph.D.
Vice President of Cure Therapies, JDRF

Development of Humanized Mouse Models to Study Diabetes
Michael A. Brehm, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Diabetes Center of Excellence, Program in Molecular Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School

Jeffrey Karp, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Medicine
Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Q&A with Featured Presenters

Michael A. Brehm, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Diabetes Center of Excellence, Program in Molecular Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School.  Dr. Brehm is developing novel mouse models that allow the study of human biology, including immunity, autoimmune disease and islet functionality.

Jeffrey Karp, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  Dr. Karp is developing a new type of implantable pancreas device that will allow the transplantation of cells in far greater numbers, hoping to show that this device can replace the function of the pancreas and regulate glucose levels in the body over a long period of time.

Ramnik Xavier, MD, Ph.D., Chief, Gastrointestinal Unit, Director, Center for the Study of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Kurt Isselbacher Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School.  Dr. Xavier’s work is looking towards a systems level understanding of the intestinal microbiome and T1D risk.

Closing Remarks
Sean Doherty
Vice President – Development, Board of Directors, JDRF New England Chapter