Prediction and prevention of autoimmune diabetes mellitus

Jacqueline Trudeau’s research focuses on autoimmune disease – disorders that cause the immune system to destroy normal body tissues. She’s specifically interested in how a specific type of immune cell, T-cells, are mistakenly activated in autoimmune disorders. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which T-cells destroy insulin-producing B-cells in the pancreas. This leads to hyperglycemia (high blood glucose), insulin dependence and other complications associated with diabetes. Given that autoimmune diseases may develop and be present for years before being diagnosed, they are difficult to treat. It is also challenging to understand how the disease process is initiated and the course of development thereafter. Jacqueline is developing techniques to identify T-cells that specifically destroy B-Cells before hyperglycemia sets in. She aims to design an approach for identifying children at the early stage of developing diabetes, a critical window of opportunity when treatment could save remaining B-cells