The Auxiliary Board of Northwestern Memorial Hospital previously pledged its support to a novel research study of type 1 diabetes, led by Jing Jin, MD, PhD in the Division of Nephrology/Hypertension at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
Often diagnosed in children and young adults, patients afflicted with type 1 diabetes (T1D) need lifelong treatment with insulin and are prone to debilitating and life-threatening complications, including heart disease, stroke and kidney malfunction. T1D is classified as an autoimmune disorder, which occurs when the immune system fails to recognize certain cells of the body as “self” and goes on the attack.
Aiming to improve the understanding of autoimmunity in T1D, Dr. Jin’s team discovered in diabetic mouse models that insulin does sometimes undergo a chemical mutation that causes it to be attacked. His team’s hypothesis is that, when present, attacking antibodies may serve as diagnostic markers and therapeutic targets for humans with T1D. The marker (test) developed in Dr. Jin’s study will be the first of its kind to aid in T1D diagnosis and risk assessment.