Faculty of the Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism
Steven D. Chessler, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Keywords: type 1 diabetes mellitus, autoimmunity, pancreatic islet cells, insulin secretion
My laboratory is interested in the insulin-producing pancreatic islet beta cells and in the cellular events that cause islet damage and dysfunction in diabetes mellitus. Our research focuses on a set of proteins shared by islets and neurons. In the brain, these are important for neurotransmission and include the major targets of autoimmunity in type 1 (juvenile) diabetes as well as cell-surface proteins that we have found to be important for insulin secretion. We are investigating the trafficking and function and the role in the pathogenesis of diabetes of these synaptic proteins. We are also interested in utilizing our findings to develop new methods to detect and monitor islet loss in diabetes. Translational projects include evaluating the potential of some of these proteins to serve as biomarkers of islet damage and as imaging targets for eventual in-vivo islet imaging.
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